Around 6 o’clock last night the multi-level marketing salesperson we had spoke with a few weeks ago showed up. While we didn’t end up buying the vacuum she was selling, I did get a fun “free gift” and a lot of great marketing insights. If this pitch can sell a $200 vacuum for $2500, what can your brand do to market and sell a product that’s (hopefully) more accurately priced?

What opens the door may not be what closes the deal
The promise of a free air-freshener (don’t laugh) got me to agree to a home appointment. I wasn’t looking for a new vacuum (and didn’t even know I’d be pitched a vacuum) but offering me “cleaner air” I agreed to consider their solution. Instead of always marketing and selling your brand’s complete solution, consider pitching it piecemeal to those leads that are demonstrating resistance to eduction. While whitepapers and webinars may the resources that push a lead to MQL status, don’t discount infographics and trade-show booths as a way to get people thinking. Look at the lead first touches at various points in the pipeline (marketing qualified, sales qualified, opportunities, and closed opportunities).
first touch data

Educate to establish need
I didn’t think vacuums were that big of a deal, so the first part of the presentation was spent teaching me about dust mites, allergies, and dirt that could be in my home. The 10-minutes I spent watching the video was too long, and after the 10th clip of dust mites crawling around, I really lost interest. Skipping education can leave a customer uninterested in your solution, and spending too much time in the education phases risks losing a lead’s attention and cuts into the time that could be spent discussing your brand’s solution. Consider segmenting into different groups depending on the lead’s behavioral or demographic profile.

Demonstrate precisely how your solution will help
The reason that these vacuums sometimes sell for $2500 after a in-home demonstration is simple: The sales person demonstrates exactly why you need this solution in a tangible way. Filter cloths for the vacuum are black to highlight all the dust and grime, the water in the vacuum gets full of dirt as the rep cleans your floors. Make every demonstration specific to the customer you are addressing, and show exactly how your product fixes their problem by actually fixing it in front of them. Spend time considering if any automated solutions will allow you to expedite this process, but in the end don’t let cost be the principle factor that dictates product demonstrations.

Have an answer to all objections
When the price for this vacuum was revealed as $2500, it was fairly simple to say “We don’t have that kind of money.” The sales rep explained that wasn’t a problem, as she was able to take credit on the spot. Since we don’t use credit on purchases we can’t pay off, she offered to let me “earn” the vacuum by setting up appointments with friends and accompanying her for those demonstrations. Being able to address objections effectively ensures that the only reason a lead doesn’t progress down your pipeline is because their needs are truly not a good fit for your brand’s solution.

Don’t take more time than you need (or promise)
The promise of a 1 hour demonstration was given to me and my wife. At the 1:15 mark I informed the salesperson that she had 5 minutes remaining to show us anything else she wanted to. At 1:20, my wife left to give our toddler a bath. This was the worst thing that could have happened as the product and pitch were resonating far more with my wife than me. Consider the areas where your brand is over-staying its welcome and the possible consequences. Did they read your emails at first, but slowly stop because you sent too many? Did a sales appointment fall apart when the high-up decision maker took off for a next appointment? Did the re-targeting PPC ads turn them off to your brand after seeing them in too many places? Learn who your buyer is, serve them the content they need to make a decision, and give them space before they ask for it. If you have made a compelling case they won’t want you to leave.

Don’t play games
While its expected that used car-dealers are going to upgrade you to anti-rust coating and have to “try and convince their manager to see it your way” those tactics should not be employed by any serious business. A small handful of noisy customers that got tricked into buying a product that they didn’t need can do far more damage to your brand than revenue the sale generated could ever compensate for. It is not about closing every possible sale; its about messaging, branding, and marketing that ensure everyone who can benefit from your product has heard about your product.

Ultimately, why did we not even consider buying this $2500 vacuum? A quick Craigslist search reveals the answers:

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