The art of growing a successful business is easy and starts with a fundamental question. Have you ever encountered a situation where you tell somebody you are a business owner and the next question that they shoot at you is what are you selling?
I am very sure you have experienced this situation more than once in your life. I have. So, let’s get to the root of this question.
- Are you selling a product?
- Are you selling a service?
- Are you selling a designer dress?
- Are you selling website designing services?
- Or something else?
Many times when business owners were asked this question, they try to give a fancy answer like I am selling the dresses made by the world’s best designer, or I’m selling the fastest website designing services.
Even in the above cases, you have not yet hit the target. The moment you will be able to understand the right answer to this question will be the moment that will change the way you run your business.
This is going to define the path of your marketing strategy and in doing so it will also explain the art of growing a successful business.
Le’s first understand what all can we sell in the market.
What Can Be Marketed?
Things that you can market generally fall into seven categories. These are –
Product marketing is the most common form of marketing.
Anything that you can see and touch falls in the category of products and marketing such is product marketing.
For example- shirts, drinks, burgers, medicines, electronics, etc..
Many times the thing that you are selling is not visible because it’s a service.
Marketing involving services is service marketing.
For example- banking services, healthcare services, education services, airline services, travel services, and many more.
Not just products and services, many times even people can be promoted.
The most common example of it is celebrity marketing where a celebrity is famous.
Recently social media has accelerated the growth of personalized marketing.
They are bloggers, they are chefs, they are musicians and all of them promote themselves.
So, this is personalized marketing.
Many times even places can be marketed.
Places like tourist spots, cities, and countries. You must have seen ‘Pure Michigan’ tagline being promoted by the Michigan state.
If you have been to India, you must have heard ‘Incredible India.’
These are a few examples of places marketing.
Even organizations can be promoted like PETA.
So, organization marketing is famous to create, change, and maintain the image of an organization.
Information forms a very important product in the digital age.
With such an increased demand for data, information is being sold and bought a lot.
Hence, Marketing information to the right users is information marketing.
When the thing that you are selling is an idea is idea marketing. So, It can be an idea of a future possibility. It can be a hope of a better future.
What Are You Selling?
Before you answer this question, always remember that you are selling a solution to customer’s problems.
As a result, the first step for finding the right answer will be to identify the right problem – the root problem.
Hence, Don’t be distracted by various outer layers of that problem that you are seeing, go deeper.
Case 1: Drilling Machine
Let’s imagine you own a business of drilling machines. Now try to answer the question.
Are you selling a drilling machine? NO
Are you selling a hole? NO
Then, what is it?
You are neither selling a drilling machine nor selling holes.
You are in a business of selling the freedom and independence that comes when you are able to do a drilling job yourself.
You are selling that amazing feeling a person gets when they a look at a painting hanging on that wall.
You are selling the improved status when guests come over and appreciate the way your home looks.
Case 2: Barack Obama
It was not a very long time ago when Obama ran for the presidency. Do you remember what was selling?
Was he selling himself? NO
Was he selling his expertise as a politician? NO
Also, the real answer is that he was selling hope.
Remember his tagline “Yes we can.’ He was selling hope for a better and improved future.
Word Of Caution
Before you figure out what you are selling, you should never forget the importance of setting the right expectations.
You can promise anything to your customer but if you don’t deliver on your promises, you will lose trust and eventually your business.
Certainly, that’s why make sure that your answer sets up the right expectations. Neither too high nor too low.
Too high expectations make your customers feel disappointed and too low expectations lead to the loss of many highly qualified customers.
‘What are you really selling”, the answer to this question is not a test of your creative and flowery English writing.
But it’s a test of figuring out exactly what kind of values you are delivering to your customers.
If you promise something and not deliver on it, you lose customer trust and weaken your customer relationships.
One must remember, customer value and customer satisfaction lead to strong customer relationships.
If you need help with your marketing strategy or want to discuss the art of growing a successful business, you can get in touch with us.
Please let us know in the comments what are you selling?