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Why Clients Want to Know Why They in Particular Should Buy an Item

You have to go beyond features and benefits — you have to get personal.

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I HAD A VERY interesting interaction with one of our top clients at an event recently. He was considering an extremely special Seiko that was $3,000. (Yes, Seiko watches are that expensive these days, and this one was worth every cent.) As he was looking at and considering the watch, he asked me a question I don’t think I’ve ever been asked before: “Tell me why?”

I jumped into all the features and benefits of the watch. Not only was it a super rare, limited edition, it was No. 2 out of 300. Seiko often keeps No. 1 for themselves or high-profile collectors, so this watch was truly the lowest serial number that could ever be found for this model.

I told him to also keep in mind that when Seiko does limited editions, often they are in the thousands; the fact that this watch had only 300 made is incredibly rare. I followed up with the statement that all of North America usually only gets about 10% of these limited-edition watches — that’s 30 total pieces for all of the USA, Mexico, and Canada.

“I get all those reasons make the watch cool, but I need you to tell me why I should buy it.” He emphasized the “I” particularly hard. It occurred to me that as salespeople, we talk up what something does and how it benefits customers, but we don’t do a particularly good job of conveying to people why they in particular should actually make the purchase.

My close to him was personal because I know his collection inside and out. I told him, “Well first, I know you like limited editions, and the fact that this is No. 2 means that you get the first commercially available number. That’s a huge feather in your cap as a collector. Second, you don’t have anything this color in your collection, which means it should get plenty of wrist time. Besides all that, your wife just picked up her custom ring last week, so it’s your turn for something nice.” He bought that watch and actually bought another limited edition the following week because we had the same conversation.

Now anytime it gets down to closing time with a client, I have that Backstreet Boys song playing in my head. Don’t simply tell people the features and benefits of what they are buying; tell them why they should buy it and why they are better off to buy it than not to buy.

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