Selling “Improvement” and How It Hurts You
Do you position your product or service as an improvement offer? That is, a solution that offers a benefit that is better in some way (i.e. faster, cheaper, etc) in comparison to the existing solutions available? If so, you are likely making it much more difficult for yourself in convincing people to buy from you.
How so? You see, for a customer to purchase an “improvement” offer, they have to admit to themselves that they are bad and need improvement. This hurts their ego and is hard to admit so it makes it difficult for people to take action and make the purchase. This is not saying that they don’t want faster, cheaper or better in some way. It just means that you have to overcome a lot more to convince a person to make the purchase when your solution is positioned in such a way.
When you position your solution as an “improvement” offer, you are effectively targeting ambitious people – people who want to get better and will do anything to do so. The problem with this is that ambitious people make a very small percentage of the population. Most people have the desire to solve a problem but not so much that they are willing to sacrifice their ego in doing so. This is the majority of the population and although they may want improvement, they tend not to take action if it means hurting their ego. Improvement reflects hard work and like most people, they want the gain without the pain.
To reach the not-so-ambitious majority who have a need for your solution, you need to position your offer as a “new opportunity”. That is, your solution is new, not the “same but better”. The result is ultimately an improvement, but the opportunity is “new”. What this means is that you position your solution in a way that makes the customer feel like they’re taking a different approach. This new approach could be brought about by new technology, new process, new delivery model, etc. Take how your solution is better and communicate it as a new opportunity that will result in improvement.
When you position the offer as a new opportunity, it removes the need for the customer to take a hit to their ego. They don’t have to admit that they are the reason for their problem or under performance. They can blame the approach, technology, process (whatever it is you’re offering that is new) and look at your offer as a new opportunity. They can forget about their past actions or decisions that led to poor results and jump straight to the new opportunity that previously wasn’t available. People love new opportunities because it reflects new discovery and greener pastures and it disconnects them from past pain.
Positioning your offer in this way makes it much easier for the customer to say Yes to your solution.
The final benefit of positioning your product as a new opportunity instead of an improvement offer is that it removes price comparison. As a new opportunity, your solution’s price is not anchored to the existing solutions. Since you’re not just better, it allows you to price your solution higher without the anchors of your competitors’ prices.
So, to sum it up. Don’t sell improvement, sell new opportunity. Position your solution this way and you’ll find it much easier for you to convince prospects to switch to your solution.
Know of other ways to position your products or services that make it easier for prospects to become customers? We’d love to hear from you at [email protected].
Co-founder of Cornerstone and marketing junkie, Michael knows just how to diagnose your online problems and remedy the issue. An online enthusiast who believes in technology as an enabler of growth, Michael worries about all the details so you don't have to.