Quit Talking About Your Thing

Unique Value Proposition

Talking about your thing usually gets you in trouble. In sales, I mean.

One of the biggest problems unsuccessful salespeople have is that they talk about their things right away, and it causes resistance.

In emails, InMails, voice mails, and IF they ever by chance get to actually talk to a buyer, they throw up all over themselves pitching the details of their product or service. Their things.

People don’t buy things.

They buy results.

One of the oldest, simplest, and most widely quoted examples of this is

“People buy the hole, not the drill.”

(I first heard it from Zig Ziglar 30 years ago, although others have taken credit for it more recently.)

Let’s look at some truths regarding things and results.


It’s easy for people to object to things.

People like to dream about, and get results.


People can say they are already satisfied with the thing they have now.

They usually are open to hearing and talking about a better result than they experience now.


People associate spending money with things.

They think about results in terms of return on investment.


Things are viewed as commodities.

Results differentiate you.


Things are simply the means to getting what someone wants.

Results are what people want.


Buyers try to get the lowest price on things.

They will pay a premium for results.


Things are factual, which can be boring.

Results are emotional, which engages people.


Things are generic and ubiquitous.

Results are viewed as personal, and people see themselves getting them as well.


So much training in organizations is “things” training, not results training. And it shows in the struggles of their salespeople.

Everything I’m talking about here is very fundamental. Yet I wonder then, why don’t more people follow the principles in their daily activities?

I do want to go a bit higher level here. Which actually is not difficult to grasp. It’s this:

Not all results are universal.

I personally don’t care that you can reduce the time-to-market on new pet toy concepts.  But, for the VP of Product Development at Pet Toy International, his income and job security relies on that. Especially since his last project came in late, and over budget, and missed the holiday buying season.

So, results need to be personalized to the individual and organization. Again, a simple concept, but not always followed.

Here’s a pretty simple exercise:

1. What are the results that you and your organization have provided for others? Brainstorm and list them out. Do attach numbers where ever you can.

2. What would make those results of the utmost interest to someone? Here you are defining the situations and circumstances that someone is experiencing now that would make your results of interest, or something they want, or want to avoid.

3. Find the people who are affected by, and desire those results. Learn about them before you approach them. Then craft your Possible Value Proposition around those results, personalized and tailored to them.

Do that and you’ll find people buying more of your things to get the results they want.

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