Selling the intangibles beyond the demand is the real challenge

People buy and companies purchase solutions and machines.
Owning a solution, a tool or a machine is not necessarily implicating it will be used.
Owning it is more important than using it.

People buy for their ego
People buy devices, gadgets and applications but many aren’t using them as described in “1 in 3 Adults Now Have Apps on Their Phones – Many Don’t Use Them” by Frederic Lardinois for ReadWriteWeb based on a report from PewInternet.

People buy all kinds of stuff for their ego and feel good.

Businessmen buy for their ego too
The same applies to companies as Directors, CxO’s and Managers decide on buying machines and software applications but many aren’t used or are used to their full capabilities by labor or the office workers.

The situation even gets worse for large software projects where many functions and features or even complete modules are added that aren’t used at all.

The reasons why the Directors, CxO’s or Managers decided to buy the never used stuff can be for many reasons:
– The future proof: a future that never happened
– A marginal add-on to the total investment: still a yearly maintenance needs to paid for
– To proudly brag about the posh purchase
– The status symbol
– The salesman told them so
These are some of the intangible benefits: Subjective benefits that cannot be measured in monetary terms, amounts or units.

The intangible benefits: sell more than the demand
It is not always the rationale that makes the final buying decision as well as with consumers as with businesses.
The purchase decision can depend on many factors not entirely based upon facts and figures.
The salesman needs to sell the intangibles instead of the tangibles. In order to do so he needs to know his customers person by person from influencer to decision maker. he needs psychological and sociological insight in all of them in order to define the intangibles that are important to them.

It is up to the salesman to influence or convince the decision makers or the influencers to up-sell the additional features and functions or modules using the intangibles that will change their decision.

As getting more out of the deal than there was originally defined is the challenge of the salesman then this should reflect in the commission too.
Maybe a salesman should get a higher commission on this surplus revenue as this is his main achievement: to sell more than the original demand.

What do you sell ? Tangibles or intangibles?


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