“There are two ways of meeting difficulties: you alter the difficulties or you alter yourself meeting them.” – Phyllis Bottome, Born May 31, 1884.
There is a sales lesson here.
Whatever you sell, you need to think of it as a solution to a problem. What difficulties does it help the lucky buyer to overcome?
Once you know what that problem is, it's easier to find the people who need your product or service. And persuading them to want to buy it is pretty simple.
But Phyllis here is pointing to a strong way to make the argument that you will present to prospects.
How is your offer going to alter the difficulties they face, and how is it going to alter them as the buyer, to make them better suited to face their present and future obstacles?
Your sales pitch should encompass BOTH.
Consider any item at all, and look at it from those two angles.
For example, today I assembled a new charcoal grill I bought.
If I was going to try to sell it to someone, I can say that the problem with charcoal grilling is cleanup, and control of temperature when cooking. Let's use that as an example.
First, for cleanup, this thing allows for the ash to dump down into a collector tray. That alters the difficulty by making it simple to get rid of. No tipping anything over, or scraping the sides or trying to sweep something out. It just comes out and is easy to dispose of.
How does it alter me? It makes it easy for me to be responsible and both dispose of the ash the right way, and maintain my equipment. Both of which I am typically too lazy to do.
The solution transforms the situation, and the buyer.
And that's just one aspect. This thing has cast iron grilling surfaces instead of a wire grid. It transforms the difficulty because now I'm not trying to brush clean a wire grid, where crud gets caught at all the joints. This is a simple rinse and wipe affair.
How does it alter me? Now I am a person who cares about having a clean grill because I care about the flavor of my food and hygiene and all that.
Let's look at another problem – controlling the temperature.
This grill has a large coal pan, allowing for better placement and arrangement of coals than a typical kettle grill does. Plus, it has a hand crank driven elevator so you can raise and lower the heat source relative to the grilling surface.
If you like cooking with charcoal, this is a game changer. No more burnt outsides and raw insides. You can slow down or speed up the cooking, as well as raise and lower the temperature as needed.
How does this alter me? Now I am a master griller – not just burning the food, or serving it undercooked. Now I can focus on details I never could before, and as a grill master, I care about those details. I can cook things I never could attempt before. Ambitious backyard barbecue menus are now my specialty. And my guests will love my food (and me).
So by using this grill, I am loved. Who wouldn’t pay for that?
<!—- lagniappe Now, I'm just shooting from the hip here for the purpose of this essay. But hopefully you get the picture. Take this twofold approach when your try to sell your own stuff. 1. What problem does your product solve? It might be more than one, but focus in on the main one - the problem that needed a solution to be created. 2. How does your product make the problem itself easier to solve? In what way does it simplify the symptoms or causes so that they aren’t as difficult to tackle in the first place? 3. How does your solution empower the buyer to be more able to defeat the problem, or transform the buyer into the person who has already overcome this problem? It’s a sliding scale - it makes the problem weaker and less powerful and the sufferer stronger and more capable. Speak to both, and you have two powerful persuasive pressures pushing and pulling in the same direction. Aligned. Will this work for you? —->