The SINGLE in the Question

Quick Summary: There is always one single reason to buy that resonates with the customer.


Even though a product or service may have a long list of features, benefits, and competitive advantages, prospects usually have one particular issue that they are trying to address.  Help them identify your solution to their specific problem instead of presenting them with a number of alternatives and hope they determine the right one. You need to do your homework first.

The SINGLE in the question “Who is the Customer, and what is their Single Most Compelling Reason to Buy Now from You?” may seem limiting.  Product and service offering marketing literature usually contains a long list of features, benefits, and competitive differentiators.  These items, hopefully, demonstrably show how the product or service offering is superior to anything on the market and clearly represents the best choice for the prospect.  Generalized literature, or a web site, needs to provide these “shot gun” listings since they are trying to appeal to a broad base of potential prospects.  Although all the claims may be true, the long list probably will not have the desired effect in convincing a specific prospect to select the offering or even dig deeper.

Instead, the list may be viewed by the prospect as confusing, similar to what can occur at a mega “All You Can Eat” cafeteria style restaurant.  With so many choices, no single item stands out.  Subtly, the message delivered by the marketing brochure or the sales rep is “we don’t know what is important to you, so you figure it out for yourself.”  Of course, this message is never delivered directly but asking a prospect to understand each particular major advantage simply dilutes their effort.  A good way of determining if this has occurred is after the end of the almost exhausting explanation of all of the features, benefits, and competitive advantages, the prospect says “so, what is your price?”  Other examples that we are exposed to every day are television commercials.  Each commercial usually focuses on one or two very specific aspects of a product.  Commercials for the same product often address different attributes based on the targeted audience demographic and the program they are watching.

A far more effective approach is to spend some time listening and researching what the prospect’s issues are and what fundamental problem they are trying to solve.  Like a laser beam, focus on how you can address THAT one issue.  Of course, you can later refer to the other advantages that you offer.  They will be good secondary qualifiers whose primary purpose is to inform the prospect of other advantages that may appeal to others.

The previous articles in this series referred to the WHO and CUSTOMER in the question.  Both discussions referred to these terms as singular individuals.  There can be, however, many other individuals that may be involved, and both the WHO and the CUSTOMER will want to gain consensus from those individuals.  In all likelihood, those other individuals may have different SINGLE compelling reasons to buy.  Understanding each individual’s single reason, and focusing attention on it is critical to gaining their approval.  For example, the operations person may be concerned with the ease of installing the offering.  The customer service person may be concerned with trouble shooting and field upgrading the offering. The financial person may be concerned with the total cost of ownership of the offering.  The marketing person may be concerned with how to position the offering.  Understanding the “hot buttons” of each constituent group is critical.

Remember, it is up to you to identify the SINGLE issue that is important to each prospect.  Providing them with a laundry list and expecting them to pick the most relevant item is dangerous.  They may pick incorrectly and never focus on the unique value that you provide.


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