Your product may not be as unique as you make it up to be. There may be a number of competing businesses vying for the same products and reaching the same target audience. How do you win against all odds and propel your business to grow? The simple answer is this: emotion. When you present your product to people, make sure that you are selling emotion. Look at Volvo. They are selling safety. Rolls Royce sells luxury. Find the emotion behind your product and discover how to sell better.
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What Emotion Is Sold
This podcast is about the tips and techniques that companies and entrepreneurs can apply to grow their business. These are not necessarily old-fashioned principles that would have worked in 1930 or 1980. However, even though my wife and I run a fairly sizable digital company where we manage 900 money-making websites, prior to that, we did coach over 3,000 businesses as a growth consulting firm. Our topic is a long-standing principle. It comes to us because I was speaking at an event. After the talk, they called me up along with a couple of other people and we did a panel in which people could walk up to a microphone, state their name and their current business challenge. As I heard this lady, she was in her mid-50’s, she had decades of experience in the jewelry industry.
As I heard her share two minutes of her backstory and what she had launched of how miserable things were and how poorly things were selling, I turned to the panel and said, “Do you guys mind if I take this? I think I can help.” They were fine with it, so I ended up talking. In the first few minutes of me talking and trying to assess what I thought she was saying, this woman was getting terribly aggravated with me. As a matter of fact, the more I spoke, the more upset she was getting. I’m going to do a podcast on pretty much word for word of what I said to her and what her final response was, “Thank you for opening my eyes to something that I wish somebody would have taught me 30 years ago.”
This is episode 269 entitled, What Emotion Are You Selling? This episode, like many episodes leading up to our Digital Footprint Conference, is sponsored by Digital Footprint. There’s a coupon code, POD17, that you can use at DigitalFootprint.net. If you don’t know what that is and you have a business that needs to grow, you might want to open that website and play the little three-minute video. When you see the little sizzle reel, you’ll understand that it would be criminal for you not to get on an airplane or drive to Los Angeles to attend that three-day event.
Everybody sells emotion. Click To Tweet
What emotion are you selling? Here’s a little backstory before I get into the exact scenario where that lady walked up to the microphone. Do you sell a product? Do you sell a service? Do you sell features? Do you sell benefits? I’m here to tell the world I don’t think you sell any of those. I don’t think you sell yourself. If you dig deep and you think, what you’re going to find is that you sell an emotion. In 25 years, I’ve never met a product, a service or a company where I couldn’t have a conversation in half an hour, distill that person or that company sold an emotion, and it typically can boil down into one word. People don’t sell insurance, they sell security. People don’t sell automobiles. If you’re Volvo, they might sell safety. If you’re BMW, you sell a driving experience. If you’re Rolls Royce, you sell luxury. You’re selling emotion.
Let me take you back to when I was in Connecticut. The lady walked up to the microphone and at first, she was very proud that she started a jewelry company. She has a nice-looking website with beautiful photographs of her jewelry. As she walked up, her comment is this, “My name is so and so. This is where I operate. This is my website. This is how it was built. This is how I market the website.” Then all of a sudden, she went from very proud to almost crying. She may have even started crying. Her biggest challenge was, “We are not selling any jewelry. People are coming to the website but they’re not buying anything.”
Let’s call her Judy. I said, “Judy, let me ask you something. How do you differentiate what you’re selling from anybody else?” She says, “That’s easy.” She got excited again. She said, “It’s quality and price.” I couldn’t help myself. I shook my head vigorously side to side like, “No.” I could tell I offended her, I didn’t mean to but I couldn’t help myself and she could tell. She was like, “What’s wrong?” I said, “When you say quality, how do you differentiate that?” She goes, “That’s easy. Everything’s handcrafted.” I said, “Let me slow you down a little bit.” I couldn’t help myself. I said, “Jewelry is a commodity. Hundreds, if not thousands of people sell it in every state in the United States and in every country. By pure fact that it’s a commodity, and if I’m not mistaken, 80% of all jewelry is handcrafted.”
I said, “Handcrafted and high quality are definitely not terms that you’re going to want to promote or move on your website in your marketing materials.” At this point, she was definitely getting aggravated because she was looking for answers, not additional problems. I said, “Let’s talk about price.” She goes, “We’re handcrafted and I’m at a lower price than any of my competitors.” I said, “How do you validate low price?” At this point, she literally said, “You apparently have all the answers. What do you recommend?” I said, “Let me walk you through what I think is the core of your challenge and if this was my company or if it was my wife’s or my sister’s company, I would make sure she did buy.”
She said, “I’m all ears,” real sarcastically. I said, “You don’t sell jewelry. Jewelry is a commodity. You sell an emotion.” It was continued frustration on her face. I said, “Everybody sells an emotion. People who sell life insurance don’t sell insurance, they sell security.” Then I could see it registered on her face. I went into the cars like I did in this episode. I said, “Certain car lines sell safety. Certain ones sell inexpensiveness, meaning entry points into the market. Some people sell a driving experience.”
She was starting to warm up and I said, “If this was my jewelry company and it was truly 100% handcrafted, I would have to first find words or phrases that create an emotion. Handcrafted does not relate in any metaphorical sense to an emotion. Could it be said that because all of your jewelry is handcrafted, it could be all custom or a one of a kind?” I said, “Just on the phrase, one of a kind, by definition, has a metaphor equivalent to a story. Meaning there is a story behind the manufacturer, the person.”
I mentioned that, “Hermès purses are made in France. Part of their story and part of their feeling is that every single bag is one of a kind. It’s handcrafted by one person. Not only does it have the annual and monthly stamp of the company somewhere hidden inside the bag so you can find out if it’s a fake or not, but the individual manufacturer, the layperson that made that bag have their own independent stamp that is separate from the company stamp that they can hide in the inner part of that bag as well. Every Hermès bag is one of a kind. It is a story.”
People don’t sell insurance; they sell security. Click To Tweet
I said, “Let’s get back to jewelry. Dream build with me. Could you make a phone call to the company, Ancestry.com, and see if you could get a hold of their marketing department? Explain to them that not only do you make one of a kind custom jewelry, you find clients that want to fund a project, not a piece of jewelry. That these clients, after they hear your story of what your company does, they fund a project. Let’s say they give you $1,000 or $5,000 or $10,000. Then you then go into Ancestry.com and look at their origin of birth. You go up two, three, four, five or six ancestors deep and find out where the majority of their ancestors are from. Maybe you’ll get a client who funds a $5,000 project and you find that 70% of their relatives are from Sicily, Italy.
I said, “Wouldn’t it be incredible if you could have a contact for gemstones and find out what gemstones are prolific in Sicily, Italy? Then have them ship you for say $2,000 a piece of bulk gemstone that you could get into your shop and you could hone down into whatever shape you felt appropriate for this client. Then maybe even some of the smaller pieces that you break off from that initial gemstone you can create supporting pieces. Maybe the main gemstone represents their grandfather or their great-grandmother. Maybe that great-grandmother had four daughters, one of which was your great-grandmother. Then you could put four supporting stones around the big stone so that that ring or that necklace, when you present this product to this person, you don’t hand them a piece of jewelry that’s handcrafted in a better price than some of their websites.
I said, “You hand them a piece of their history, their story. You’ve got the birthplace gemstone. You’ve got a little bit of their ancestry in the mini gemstone pieces surrounding.” She was literally almost about to cry with joy. Her actual comment was, “Wow, what a great idea.” I said, “You don’t sell jewelry. You sell an emotion. If you’re able to pull this off, which I think you can, you sell one-word, connection. That one piece of jewelry gives this person, this client, that ability to walk into a party, walk into work, walk into a first date with someone and that someone will say, “Wow, nice piece of jewelry.” You go home and go, “Let me tell you about this piece of jewelry,” and you’ve got a 30 to 60-minute conversation piece. She literally left the microphone to sit down at her round table and write down pages of notes. As I got off stage, she jumped on me, hugged me, thanked me, and she even tried to kiss me.
The point is to think about your product. What do you sell? Do you sell a product? Do you sell features or benefits? Do you sell value building statements? You might want to have a conversation with yourself and say, “What one word, what one emotion do I sell?͟ You rebuild all of your marketing materials. You rebuild your website, you rebuild your everything, your vernacular, your narrative, your brand around that emotion. If you watch the major automobile commercials, all their commercials support their one word of emotion. Look at a Volvo commercial. The whole commercial is about safety. Look at the BMW commercials. They’re whipping around turns. It’s about the driving experience. It’s a word experience. Look at the Bentley and the Rolls Royce commercials. Look at the Ferrari commercials. It’s amazing when you watch. They all have a centerpiece narrative around one word.