Wanna Buy a Fake Egg? Neither Do Your Customers!

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I’m a geek.

How much of a geek? I am a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM). Need I say more? IBM has a monthly magazine called The Linking Ring, and there’s a regular column that reviews magic tricks, books, and apparatus. In the most recent issue there is a product review that ends with this sentence:

[quote style=”boxed”]So if you are looking for a fake egg that compresses into a relatively small space and pops back into its original shape quickly, yet does not need to slide along a fabric surface easily, your search has ended![/quote]

Now, how many of you are pumping your fist and shouting, “Finally!”? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

Motivational Speaker Bill StaintonClearly, this is a highly specialized item that will cause excessive salivation for magicians who do a lot of egg magic. When egg magicians gather (and who wouldn’t want to be at that party?), I have no doubt that this new fake egg dominates the conversation. For everybody else, though, it’s pretty much meaningless.

Look, we all have something that we’re really into that bores everybody else to tears (Hummel figurines, anyone?). And often this something involves some component of our business. And your customers don’t care!

Hopefully—ideally—you’re in your particular business because you love what you do! You love doing it, you love learning about it, you love reading about it. It’s your passion, and you’re fascinated by the minutiae of it. You could talk to people for hours about whatever your version of the fake egg is. But here’s the crucial thing to remember:

Your customers don’t care about the fake egg. They just want the results!

To put it in common sales terms, the fake egg is a feature. And your customers, by and large, don’t care about features. They care about the benefits—the results.

When it comes to your own business, you’re the geek. You care about the minutiae, the details, the features. That’s a good thing. And when you go to your Geek Conference (which, as a motivational speaker, I’d be happy to keynote!), you can talk about the minutiae, details, and features to your heart’s content. Here’s the trap, though: When you’re that into something, it’s easy to forget that not everybody shares your passion. So when you’re talking to your prospects and customers, you have to remember to take the geek hat off.

Don’t talk to them about the fake egg. They’re not buying a fake egg. Figure out what it is that they are buying (hint: it’ll have to do with that “result” thing), and then talk to them about that.


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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