How can you sell bad products even if you compete against best products?

How can you sell bad products even if you compete against best products?


We know our product should be of good quality. But what if we simply don’t have the resources or ideas to create the best product?

The most important reason for people to buy is not always the best product. Still, people focus on improving the features and benefits. And they even try to make it more beautiful.

So, how to sell our product when we don’t have the best product in the market?

In this podcast, you will know how people will buy the average or bad product for some reasons. You will also find out the exact framework that can help you to design the product and marketing message without worrying too much about whether it’s best or not.

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How people decide to buy candles?
Well, they just buy because it’s not too difficult to decide. Let’s say, one candlemaker says that he only uses the best wick and the finest wax in his candles. He sells a few dozen candles. Obviously, because he uses the best ingredients.

But can you believe that someone of poor quality can sell hundreds of candles?
Yes, it’s possible. There is another candlemaker who makes candles that are not as good as the best one like the first one. He makes candles for prayers only. It’s the candle that people use while praying. Even if his candles are not as good as the first candlemaker we talked about, he could sell thousands of those. Because he sells the purpose behind candles.

Selling purpose is a lot more effective than just the best product.
Most people can’t believe it. People work on improving the products. They add new features and make it beautiful. What they actually need to do is to connect the product to a purpose.

Almost 95% of the new products can’t sell.
It’s because they don’t focus on the problem the customers want to solve. If you read the book ‘offer craft’, you will find how the problems are very important in developing and selling the product.  In this podcast, we will talk about 2 things that will help you to sell the product even if you don’t have the best product.

  1. Know the reasons to buy
  2. Knowing the motivation to buy and not to buy
  3. A simple framework to know the reason and motivation

Let’s dive in.

Almost 40% of people who go to McDonald’s in the morning, they buy only one thing.
It’s Milkshake. They found out when they have done a survey to improve the sales of their milkshake. They asked people of different age groups in a different locations about what they liked about milkshake and how can the milkshake be improved. They asked the customers whether they want the milkshake to be more creamy, chocolaty or fruity.

So the customer said what they wanted to say.
And the problem with the survey is that it can be wrong and that’s exactly what happened with McDonald’s. They listened to the customers and improved but the sales did not increase. A consultant called Clay Christensen and his team at McDonald’s did something interesting. He along with his team went to McDonald’s and for 18 hours straight. He just observed people who come to McDonald’s. He asked himself a question: “I wonder what job people ‘hire’ this milkshake to do?”

The concept of the ‘Hiring’ product is interesting.
It was developed by Clay Christensen who was hired as a consultant by McDonald’s. He found the theory called “Job to be done”. Instead of thinking of buying a product or service, he says that people are ‘hiring the product’ to do a specific job.

When you know the reason for ‘hiring the product for’, you can then improve the product better.
So, when Christensen asked himself, “I wonder what job people hire this milkshake to do”, he learned something interesting. He found that almost 40% of people buy milkshake in the morning. And interestingly, they just buy the milkshake only and nothing else. He found that people who buy milkshake in the morning are the people who have a long work commute and he wants to consume something that is not messy and will keep them full till lunch. They were not buying any other breakfast products but milkshake only. They understood the reason why people were ‘hiring milkshake’. So, they created a thicker milkshake with more fruit in it. It worked and the sales increased rapidly.

People buy for a reason.
You need to find out the reason why people hire your product, instead of buying your product or service. People ‘hire’ the product to do a specific job. Many times, the job is only for a few minutes or hours only. If you understand what job the customer hires your product for, you can improve your product or service tremendously. Now, let’s find out the motivation for people to buy and not to buy

What would you think when you want to move to a smaller house.
A builder based in Detroit was selling houses and flats to people who were moving to a smaller place. There can be people who are retired, divorced singles or people whose some of their family members have moved to a different place.

The builder did everything to improve the product.
He added beautiful things to the house. From Tiles, kitchen, the bathroom to windows, he made sure his house looks more beautiful than his competitors. He also offered at a similar price to other houses around. But still, he struggled to sell. His team was efficient in replying to the queries of potential buyers. But nothing changed significant.

They hired a consultant called Bob Moestra.
Bob asked some of his previous buyers about the reasons for buying the property from this builder. And he was surprised by the response. He did not expect the reason for people moving to the smaller place. 

The reason was something nobody could think of.
People chose this builder’s property only after knowing how they can fit the old furniture into the smaller house. They didn’t want bigger room or more rooms. Bob Moestra even asked the builder to raise the price. And against the high price, he offered free moving services and two years worth of storage for free. And the trick worked. When the sales of the entire industry went down to 49%, his sales increased by 25%.

Most of the time, people don’t buy for the reason what we believe is true.
You will be surprised by the reason for buying from you when you talk to them. Even if you have at least one customer, still ask that customer why they chose you. Now the question is how to find out the reasons and motivation to buy? Let’s find out.

As we discussed earlier, people buy for a specific purpose.
If you want to know why people buy, you need to walk in their shoe and it’s not possible when you are thinking of them sitting on the couch. When you talk to them, they explain their purpose, reason and motivation to buy in a specific pattern. It was designed by Paul Adams from the company called ‘Intercom’. It helped his team to design the feature and packaging of their product.

It’s “When ____, I want to _____, so I can______.”
Here, ‘When’ refers to the situation or the trigger. ‘I want to’ refers to the motivation and ‘So I can’ refers to the outcome. Let’s look at the example of what we have already discussed in this podcast episode.

In the example of McDonald’s, we can say, “When I’m commuting, I want to drink a thick milkshake, so I can drive and drink my breakfast without being messy and keep me full till lunch.” In the case of the builder of Detroit who sells houses to people who wants to move to a smaller house, we can say, “When I’m moving to a smaller house, I want to make sure all my old furniture is taken care of, so I can move my the things without stress.”

So, find out the reasons and motivation of your customers.
Listen to this podcast again to understand the various examples we have discussed.  What is the purpose of people who buy from you?

What outcome they are looking for after buying your product? Ask people why they choose you and more importantly, when exactly they decide to buy from you. 



Read next: People think marketing and selling is something that to do it, a person needs to be an extrovert, sleazy or greedy. 

Find out, Why people are terrible at sales and what to do instead?

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