Who Needs Your Product?
If you don’t believe everyone needs your product, then you need to find a new product to sell —Zig Ziglar
I love listening to books in my car through Audible. I used to love listening to the news while I was in the car to stay up to date on current events, but with all the negativity in the world right now, I’ve found that listening to books that inspire me is a better use of my time.
I was recently listening to a book from one of my faves- Zig Ziglar, the best-selling author on the topic of sales.
He said something that was very profound and will forever change my perspective on prospecting- “If you don’t believe that everyone needs your product, then you need to find a new product.”
I know if sounds funny, because some people would think that is intuitive. But if you have been selling products to a specific audience, you may have lost sight of that or what Ziglar’s point is here.
My first thought was: “Wow that is so true!”
But then I thought: “How did I lose focus on the bigger picture?”
Let me use my business as an example.
My target audience is women who sell: Women who have a product, service, idea that they believe makes people lead happier, healthier, and rewarding lives but are a little intimidated with the idea of selling, want to get comfortable with the concept, or just get better at selling. So intuitively, I talk to women in this category about my product i.e. sales professionals, business owners, entrepreneurs, you get the picture.
Let me be clear: It’s not that I don’t believe in my product—but do I truly believe everyone needs it?
Honestly speaking when he first said that I thought…I’ve never sold anything that I thought everyone needed. That has never been my selling strategy, and I’ve never heard a reputable sales trainer teach me that.
But then I realized that I was missing his point. I lost the right mindset somewhere along the way in my sales profession. I only talked to people that I believed fell into the bucket of my target audience. I believed only these people cared about my product or would find value in it. I would just be wasting my time and the time of those I was talking to if they weren’t directly benefiting from what I had to offer.
Why was I thinking this way?
From 17 years of sales and marketing training, I’ve learned that determining your target audience and prospecting the right clients is key to sales success. Before you can start selling, you need to determine who would want to buy it. I have heard so many times, you can’t sell to everyone to be effective.
Determine your target audience.
You can’t sell to everyone, but better yet you need to be strategic.
But I love Ziglar’s passion about selling his product and it gives me a different perspective that could significantly increase my sales.
Listening to Zig’s book turned on a light bulb in my head.
Let’s shift our mindset away from just selling to our target audience to talking to everyone about your product.
Because your product provides value to everyone! YES, everyone—because everyone in this world is somehow connected to someone in your target audience. Start talking to everyone about your product, because you never know who they know that will benefit from what you offer.
Here is an example of my point: The moment you wake up, you should be thinking “How can I help others with my product today?”
Then the question becomes, not only who in my target audience should I talk to but also people outside of my target audience, that would benefit from telling someone else about my product?
Even if they don’t fall into your target audience, they may know someone who does. And it would benefit everyone to hear about it because you believe this product would benefit them by benefiting someone in their lives.
Whatever you are selling, everyone needs it.
It really made me think how when we sell a product to someone, if we believe it will enhance that person’s life, then it affects everyone in that person’s life.
So it makes perfect sense. We should be selling the product to everyone, because everyone will benefit from the product. And everyone can help us get to our target audience.
Let’s just take one general product for example.
Let’s say I sell a high end women’s business clothing line. A clothing line that provides high end, long lasting, business wardrobe essentials to women ages 30 something to 50 years of age.
High end women’s business clothing is sold and marketed to middle and upper-class professional women. But what if I only went after this target audience?
A man asks me what it is that I do and I reply “I sell a high end women’s business clothing line” and leave the conversation at that because I assume I don’t have anything of value for him. True, he may not need women’s clothing, but what if his wife works in business and needs to update her wardrobe? What if he had ten ladies in the office that need to spruce up their wardrobe for the next season?
I turn and leave and I’ve lost the opportunity to connect with someone he knows that might end up needing my product.
By talking to anybody and everybody about what I do, I could expand my network and end up helping…
- His wife who is needing a confidence boost at work and needs to spruce up her wardrobe to feel good about herself again.
- His daughter who is about start a new job and needs some nice business attire to make a good first impression at work.
- His women colleagues in the office who need to update their business wardrobes for the summer season.
- His financial advisor who is always dressed nice and loves fashion
…and the list could go on and on.
Ladies—everyone needs your product!
So now maybe your asking, how does he benefit from your product? You are helping him bring value to the women in his life. If they decide to buy your line, and they love it, won’t they be grateful to him for helping them? Will that enhance his life and relationship with those women? Absolutely! Since he helped them, they will be more willing to help him. It’s a win-win.
You never know who people know. And while it may feel awkward to openly discuss your product to strangers and what it can do, if you do it right, you could end up connecting with the right client who becomes a reliable one for years to come.