How Can You Sell Intangible Benefits?
I often hear Sellers lament that the benefits they offer are intangible and not valued by Buyers. How then can they sell those benefits? Well, oxymoronic as it sounds, you can make the intangible tangible. In fact, it’s not that hard. It’s just that the way to do it isn’t intuitive. Let me explain. Tangible…
I often hear Sellers lament that the benefits they offer are intangible and not valued by Buyers. How then can they sell those benefits?
Well, oxymoronic as it sounds, you can make the intangible tangible. In fact, it’s not that hard. It’s just that the way to do it isn’t intuitive. Let me explain.
Tangible means ‘has a physical presence’ i.e. you can touch it. However, physicality is a pretty limiting definition for our purposes. How else can you describe benefits that are meaningful, like recognition, advancement, reputation, reduced risk and so on, that aren’t physical?
Although you can’t touch or quantify them, those benefits are nonetheless quite real to the people that need them. They’ll know it when they see it and will value it and be prepared to pay for it.
For this discussion then, let’s consider them tangible to the extent they can be recognized as existing, albeit not physically.
So, what makes an intangible benefit, tangible?
Well, it’s not to do with the benefit so much as people’s perception of it. Tangibility (like value and beauty) is a perception. It’s the way you see it. Or more accurately, when you’re the Seller, the way Buyers see it. In fact, that’s true of physical benefits too.
An individual’s perception is based on their frame of reference i.e., their reality, the way they look at the world, or bluntly, “where their head’s at”. For a benefit to be tangible to a Buyer then, it is their frame or head we need to work with not our product or benefits.
That is, going into more depth describing features and benefits (“selling” if you will) doesn’t work. You’ve probably experienced that. It doesn’t work because it’s like sowing seed on barren ground. Instead, we need to work on the ground i.e., the Buyer’s frame, by getting their head into a more receptive space.
Shifting the Buyer’s Frame
Shifting a person’s frame means taking their perception of a problem/challenge from where it is (point A), to a future (point B) where the problem no longer exists. When they can see and describe what that future looks like (e.g., almost ‘touch’ it) it then becomes tangible, as does the value of the solution that’s delivering it, which is the outcome you’re interested in.
Now, it’s not you shifting the Buyer’s frame, of course, they have to do that for themselves. What you can do though is make that happen and in my next post, I’ll describe how to have the conversation that does just that and more importantly, has Buyers keen to engage.
Musings of a Value-Based Seller
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