Why You Need to Know the Product You’re Selling

I had a weird thing happen a few years back. My girlfriend (now fiance) and I were walking through a mall, playing dodge-the-annoying-kiosk-salesperson, as you do.

Source: Turningpa.com

Well, we tried to dodge them as well as we could. It didn’t last long.

We got approached by a friendly gentleman who was manning a kiosk on his own that day. My lady friend really liked the hair straighteners he was selling, but there was a problem.

See, our friendly gentleman was bald. Not a hint of hair anywhere on his head. This might be the first time in my life I could be called out for discriminating against the unwigged, but the guy didn’t have any way of demonstrating his product except on potential customers. And a demonstration like that crosses dangerously over the hairdresser intimacy line.

Okay, silliness aside, he didn’t make his sale. As nice as his product was, it was expensive and he didn’t make much of an effort to convince us that it was worth the price. He went straight from, “You look like you need this” to “Guys, my wife left me.”

Straight from intruding to sob story. He didn’t generate any empathy at all. This sale just went downhill so fast. Eventually, we had to forcefully pull ourselves away while he begged us just to let him “open the books today.”

It was terribly uncomfortable, and it all came down to one issue. He didn’t understand his product well enough to convince us to consider it. He probably could have, even though he was exactly the least likely person ever to use it, but he just hadn’t made that step yet.

Business doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, at its simplest level, it’s very simple. It’s not easy, but the math basically does itself.

Me? I’m in the business of selling writing. Why? Because it’s what I do. I’d do this even if I didn’t get paid for it, so it makes perfect sense to start tailoring it specifically toward people who want it.

The only thing that’s left is coming up with reasons why they want it.

Are you a writer? Thinking of becoming one? I’m a member of the Freelance Writers Den*, an online community of aspiring and professional freelance writers. The forums there are full of active discussions on how to improve your writing and marketing and the site has a huge supply of classes and resources to help grow your freelancing business. Check out the link at the top of this paragraph to see more!

*Affiliate link to the Den.

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