What do you sell?

This is a question which I ask every client at the beginning of any project and invariably I get we sell so & so widgets or service, which is the reply I expect.

BUT, and it is a ‘big but’, that is what your product IS and not what your customer is purchasing from you.

Invariably I get a get a look from puzzled to ‘this guy is nuts’!


So do you know what you sell?


I have a number of examples to explain this, which I use with my clients.

Recently at a breakfast event, I was chatting to an accountant and we got to this precise subject and he came up with an example which brought back memories, from my sales training many years ago and the objective of Black & Decker.


What are you getting when you purchase their drills?


Believe it or not, it is a hole (or as many as you want).


For that is the reason, you purchase a drill. To make a hole to screw something in, or to put up a picture hook etc etc


You buy it, not for what it is but what it will do for you.



So, and bringing back the memories from my sales training; Black & Decker are selling, holes.


Take that train of thought, and relate it to your product/service.

It has far reaching implications than just the sales process but also includes your publicity material and website.


For that is what you are selling not the product, but what it will does for them.


Written by Mike Vaughan

Mike Vaughan

One Response to “What do you sell?”

  • Avatar Lesley Morrissey:

    I ask my clients a slightly different question – “Why do people buy you (your products/services) and not someone else who does what you do?” Sadly, most people cannot answer this question.

    Many of those who do only see it from their own perspective and when challenged admit that they haven’t actually asked their customers the question. When they do ask they are frequently astonished at the answers they get!

    Moral of the tale – ask your customers for feedback.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.