Customer Needs, Value for Money, Special Sauce
This prioritisation of motivation is not just unique to the sales person’s world. The world rule maps to whom the salespeople are selling – customers.
- Secure (70%) – Will this product satisfy my needs?
- Margin (20%) – Am I getting the best price?
- Vision (10%) – Other benefits?
Too often I see marketing which tried to lead with vision or a better price, but either ignore the product or push a weak product.
Now for mature product types that have commoditised to a degree, then the playing field can be levelled at the ‘Secure’ consideration and all the offerings pretty much satisfy the customer’s needs.
Price is the next logical consideration. All other things truly being equal, a person will buy the cheapest of the perceived equal products.
In a highly competitive marketplace, very often the prices are already driven down to lowest sustainable margin and so differentiating here also becomes a challenge which brings us to the consideration of ‘vision’. This could be the imaginative packaging, ‘organic’ or ‘eco-friendly’ label, an aspirational aura, a ‘social object’ or any other quality that lifts the product above merely what it says on the label, merely what it is priced on the tag, to deliver something above and beyond.
I can see why ‘vision’ selling commands so much attention in field of marketing. First, it is fun. Fun to think about, Fun to talk about. Fun to do. Second, pricing seems pretty obvious and everyone gets that if you lower price, demand goes up (though the sophistication with which this can be done is often overlooked…check out the pricing schemes of airlines and some creative ‘negative pricing’ that has popped up in recent years like the mobile operator 3’s ‘WePay’ texting tariff). What I am always surprised by is how little effort and attention is invested in ‘meeting the customer’s needs’. I don’t care how visionary you are or how cheap you are, if the product doesn’t satisfy some need the customer has, they ain’t goin’ to part with hard earned cash to obtain it.