At the most basic and fundamental of levels, sales is a relatively straightforward and simple affair. You have a thing that you want to sell, whether it’s a physical product, a digital product, a service, a subscription, or whatever else it might be. If you want to make money, you have to sell that thing. Depending on the thing, you might have to sell a lot of them to a lot of people or you might only need to sell a few to the right people, because you’ve got a high ticket item.
Of course, the reality of the situation is decidedly much more complex than that. There are so many moving pieces and factors involved that go well beyond your actual product. You could have the best product in the world, but if you can’t convince a potential customer to buy it, then none of that really matters. And this is part of the reason why your sales strategy might be completely wrong.
The Triumph of GoPro
One of my favorite YouTubers is Sara Dietschy. Her initial claim to fame was a “how to vlog like Casey Neistat” parody video that went viral, but she has definitely gone on to enjoy a fair bit of success in her own right since then. In one of her videos, she had the opportunity to interview Marc Barros and chat with him about business and venture capital and “making it.”
Marc Barros is the co-founder and CEO of Moment. You probably know Moment best for their lenses that enhance cell phone cameras, including telephoto and fisheye. They got their start on Kickstarter and have since expanded into other product areas, including making gear and developing apps. And Moment isn’t Marc’s first time building a company of this size either; he was also the co-founder and CEO of Contour.
Do you remember Contour? The company got its start right around the same time as GoPro, and the two companies both approached the action camera market with great enthusiasm. Well, we all know who won that war. GoPro is to action cameras as Kleenex is to facial tissue. But why did GoPro win? While the circumstances are likely much more complex, Marc Barros broke it down to one very big reason.
Appeal to the Right Organ
In his mind, Contour made a great product. Here’s a great action camera that’s perfect for capturing those action-filled moments in your life. In following this line of thinking, Barros said that their marketing and sales strategy was geared more toward appealing to the mind. They were working on convincing potential customers to buy the product. Here are all the reasons why Contour is good and you should buy it.
In stark contrast, GoPro has gone about sales and marketing in a completely different manner. Rather than appealing to the mind, GoPro appeals to the heart. They go straight to the heart of the customer and tap into how that customer wants to feel when using the product. Rather than offering an intellectual, logical argument for why the GoPro is a good product, their messaging showed customers how they would feel using their action cameras. Look at what you can do. Look at these awesome, exciting, action-packed moments that you can share with friends.
You see this in the GoPro messaging to this day. The promo videos are much less concerned about specs and value, and much more focused on thrill and fun and enjoyment.
Listen to Your Heart
We’d like to think that humans are rational beings. People will always take a rational, logical approach and seek out whatever it is that is in their best interest. You’ll make the “right” decision. As it turns out, that’s not really true at all. Humans are utterly emotional and these feelings can get the best of them. Two Cents has a great video on ways people are dumb with money, and many of these ways boil down to the fact that we are emotional.
It doesn’t matter if your product is actually superior to the competition. Regular people will not respond to rational, logical, 50-page report that analyzes and interprets exactly why this is the case. They will respond, however, to a sales pitch that appeals to their heart. This is why so many experts say time and time again that you need to stop selling the features and start selling the benefits.
How will your product or service make a customer feel? Don’t worry as much about what they might think.