Selling The Intangible


It’s been a while since we last spoke. I was on a whirlwind tour with one of my favourite clients where I consulted and worked closely with their clients in order to build customer service experience and to increase sales.

This business is a leader in the education industry. However, they were not offering a tangible product. The owner is one of the best speakers in Australia. They offer unique courses that will give students everything they need to be successful. Many times I have heard students say, “This is a magical experience” to the point where they don’t want to go home after the five day training. Our challenge was getting this experience out for all to see, feel, and hear.

So late last year, we embarked on a journey to get the business owner/trainer in front of potential students. I knew once we got her speaking, students would get a small bite of what they would experience in the five-day course. This also put us in front of an audience that hadn’t encountered us previously.

Selling a tangible product is very different from selling an experience and an educational product. The tangible product can be touched, felt, and seen. Potential consumers can hold the product and be taken into the future as they visualise themselves using the product and the pleasure it gives them.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 8.17.41 amBut it is different when you are selling an experience. The challenge to the seller is that people do more to avoid pain than to feel pleasure. This means they are paralysed into not taking action and come up with excuses as to why they can’t buy. Then, to add to the mixture, everyone has three universal fears to deal with: the fear of not being loved; the fear of failure; and the fear of not being enough. These fears create a big gap that will affect one’s buying decisions.

When we have potential clients in a room, they get exactly what they need: incredible knowledge, self-development, the ability to see what is really possible for themselves with the right tools, and the people to help them reach their goals.

We have gone from one state to four states with this education business. We have seen exponential growth because of the implementation of many strategies. And this is just the beginning.

There is a critical nature to the customer service experience. For most companies, you buy a ticket, come to the training, and then maybe buy something and go home – with very little contact.

Our clients’ experience, however, starts from when they first buy the ticket. There are many follow
up calls and emails before they are even in the room. Once they are in the room, the attendees are served and supported by all the team, allowing clients to experience the best weekend ever in so many different ways. Then after the weekend, they receive additional contacts to discover how they felt about their experience.

Here are some points to think about whether you are selling the tangible or intangible:

  1. Humans are complex creatures, so you must understand how they think and how they make decisions.
  2. Clients must have an exceptional experience from the minute they come in contact with your brand.
  3. Even if they are not ready to buy, keep in contact with them until they are.
  4. Let the client experience using your product.
  5. The client’s experience must reflect your brand throughout.
  6. People want to be made to feel special. They will remember how you made them feel.
  7. Have a process, and always find ways to improve it.
  8. People want social proof. Speak about others who have used your product or service, and either use them as an example, or use examples as testimonials (be careful how these are done).
  9. Only hire the best people who will represent your company with the highest standards. Your employees can make or break your business.
  10. Keep communication channels open, fun, and light.
  11. Never skimp on your marketing. That’s how you get the client to engage with you.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 8.18.56 amThis is a good time to look at the client experience in your business. How does it reflect your brand? What can be implemented or improved? How much money is out there that is not being spent in your business, or worse, that is being spent with your competitor?

If you want to know how you can increase your sales and profit margin, contact me for a free 45 minute consultation.

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Wednesday October 21, 2015 at 8:39 am ⋅ pennyv
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