Having to sell something that people don’t understand yet is not a simple thing to do. Selling something that solves a problem where even people don’t realize it’s a problem is a harder task to do. John Henry Patterson founded the National Cash Register back in 1884. Before his company, people kept their cash in a drawer. Then here come Patterson with a “high-tech” machine where you can store your money. Businessmen were reluctant to purchase something that they had never needed before; they had to be persuaded that the new equipment would result in improved efficiency and saving.
A lot of tech-related companies come up with solutions for companies who don’t necessarily see the need for it directly. Granted, a lot of these so-called solutions are useless. Granted, too many people nowadays just create a software/app without proper market research. But, there are some that actually has real implications and benefits.
Take a CRM software for example. It's not the easiest thing to sell. We have dealt with people who talks like the comic below.
Some people just don't see their business is facing a challenge. If they can't see that, they won't see the need of anything you're selling. So here are some of our thoughts on selling products that not everyone understands.
1. Speak Plainly
Do not use jargons – especially if you’re selling tech-related software. Know your audience. If you’re talking to an IT team, speaking in jargon is great. But if you’re talking to the marketing team, or perhaps the owner/CEO of the company, chances are he/she doesn’t know what“fully integrated responsive software that runs in SQL and Java” means.
Instead, explain things in a way that is real and understandable for the everyday man. “When you increase your productivity by 30%, it means you get an extra day and a half. This means you get to work all day Saturday and half day Sunday – without having to work on the weekends”.
Say things like “By using CRM, you can increase profit by 13%". Simple and to the point.
If someone gives you an objection, empathize. Don’t evade and never think of their objection as another burden. Instead, tell the customer that you’ve heard this objection before and that you understand. Then, ask questions to get the customer talking and learn as much as you can about their worries and concerns. And finally, offer a solution (ideally, by telling a story that highlights the success in overcoming that objection in an actual client of yours).
3. Show, Don’t Tell
Most probably, you have a power point presentation template given by your company. I do too. I do give this presentation template to my sales team. But I tell them to never spend more than 5 minutes on the power point template I gave them. Instead, spend more time in demoing the product and showing the product itself in action. It’s no use to spend too much time on a static power point presentation when you can show what your product is capable of. There’s a saying that says if a picture is worth a 1000 words, then a demo is worth 10,000 slides.
If your product is something that can’t be shown, then tell a story. I find that just blatantly listing your features and capabilities doesn’t engage with the audience. Instead, create a story that infuses your product’s features and capabilities. For example, rather than just saying “Our product has multiple features such as X, Y, and Z to solve problem one”, tell a story like, “A client of ours shared that they struggled with a problem. They were so happy when they find out that we were able to help them solve that problem through our X feature”.
So there you go – Just three points that I usually follow when presenting my own product. I know that my product is not like a shoe – everyone understands what a shoe is and what the use of a shoe is. But that’s exactly why I had to find ways to make my customers see that my product is a shoe – and a very comfortable one too.
So, do you agree? Do you disagree? Did you have any experience in selling something that people don’t get? How did you solve that problem? Share your thoughts and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.