When People Aren't Buying What You're Selling, You're Selling the Wrong Thing. (And Why Pyjamas are Actually Soulmates in Disguise.)

You know those moments when you go in to a shop to buy a birthday/Christmas/christening/new baby gift but come out with something for yourself instead? 

This is a story about one of those moments. It's also a story about how to sell anything. So if you're in the business of selling stuff, you'll probably like this story.

I went in to browse Christmas gifts for my family. I came out with a pair of blue and white checked pyjamas with cute little red hearts dotted all over them for...well, for me. (If you didn't get the memo, I'm making a special effort to be selfish). I skipped the family gifts all together. Whatever, they lived.

I didn't need them, the blue and white checked pyjamas with cute little red hearts dotted all over them. But there was something I did need. Something I longed for so deep in my (little red) heart my credit card practically walked itself over to the cashier and handed itself over. 

I needed to be loved. I needed to not spend my life alone. I needed the warmth of a man snuggling up next to me and telling me he loved me. I needed to laugh and play and build a life with my soulmate. I needed to cosy up with him in the log cabin we'd hire at Christmas. I needed to nuzzle in to him as we watched the flames of the real log fire dance in the fireplace. I needed to sit with him in the snowy morning light, legs entwined, cradling our mugs of tea talking about our wild and crazy dreams for the future. I'd be wearing my pyjama bottoms and oversized chunky-knit jumper and I'd look hot and cute all at the same time.

I didn't buy a pair of blue and white checked pyjamas with cute little red hearts dotted all over them. I bought the life I was longing for. I bought my dreams. I bought the feeling of being in that log cabin with my soulmate. And if I walked in to that shop again today, I'd get my credit card out all over again.

Because if I were buying a pair of pyjamas, I might decide I don't have the money. But if I'm buying my dreams? Well, they're priceless. Here's the take away:

People buy feelings, not things.

They don't buy pyjamas, they buy what it feels like to be wearing them in a log cabin with their loved one. 

They don't buy a 3-month coaching package with two 60-minute calls a month. They buy the freedom they'll get when you help them reach their goals. 

They don't buy your 70cm x 70cm piece of artwork on canvas, they buy the feeling of peace or inspiration or excitement or joy that your artwork invokes. Or the memory of a time and place it pulls them back to.

To be clear, your product or service offering wouldn't look like this:

"These pyjamas are blue and white checked with red hearts dotted all over. They're made from 100% cotton and feature a drawstring waist." BOR-ing. 

But it would look like this:

"Soft pjs perfect for frosty nights snuggled up in front of the fire with your loved one."

So next time you're writing about your products or your services or your events or whatever it is you sell, remember that your clients and customers don't care about the features of what you're selling. They don't care if your sessions are 45 or 60 minutes long. They don't care how many worksheets they'll get to download or how many hours of video you'll provide. 

They only care about the feelings your product or service or workshop or whatever will give them. Will it solve their problems and get them closer to their dreams? Will they get to be the girl in the log cabin?

So before you sit down to write about something you're selling, ask yourself these questions:

What am I really selling?
What are my customers and clients really buying?

And then talk about those things over and above the features of what you sell. 

Because people buying feelings, not things. 

Love and courage,