So, What Exactly Are You Selling?


That is a strange question, isn’t it?


That being said, I had a company owner actually ask me that question during the middle of the discovery part of my first meeting with him.  I had told him that our meeting would only last around 20 minutes.  I had already built a minimal amount of rapport with him prior to the two of us sitting down.  I had gotten his permission to begin asking my questions about his business, and was only about half-way through that process when he put up his hand and politely (but firmly) asked, “So, what exactly are you selling?”


A little about my prospect, to help you better understand the picture.


Mr. Smith was a very busy man who was not readily open to sales calls.  He had things to do, and was a “just cut to the chase” kind of person.  He gave me the appointment because of a referral from a friend of his.


I had a series of questions that I would ask in order to get the conversation going with any prospective client.  In this case, my questions were focused on challenges companies in his industry had in retaining workers and how that impacted the bottom line profit of his company.  Of course, he knew that I was in the insurance business – and up to this point, my questions were less about insurance and more about his company.


So, understandably he stopped me, and asked his simple question… “So, what exactly are you selling.”


I put my pen down, looked him in the eye and confidently said…

“Well, I am selling the idea of me going to work for you – without you putting me on salary – and my only job responsibility is to help you make more money.”


He thought for a second, then he said, “How?”


I replied, “I don’t know yet.  I’ll know more after I ask some more of these questions.”


He leaned forward and said, “By all means, continue.”


Some very important things happened that worked in my favor.  We will visit more about that tomorrow.  But until then, remember…


“You’re never selling a product or service.  You are selling what that product or service means to your customer.”

– Jeff C. West



QUESTION:  What does your product or service really mean to your customer?