By Stephen Ekstrom | President & Founder of Fire Starter Brands
You’ve probably been there, struggling to stay alert during the seventy-fourth consecutive appointment at an industry trade show. Another supplier sits down and immediately starts spitting out details about their newest feature, fresh remodel, dollars spent on new towels, great rates, etc. After a while, these all start to sound the same - like a supplier is spitting up features & benefits.
Then there’s one. One supplier who stops by your table and tells you a wonderful story about an experience your guests would love to have. The story sells. Buyers care less about what you have to offer and more about what their experience will be with your product.
In a post by Wharton @ Work, entitled Selling the Customer Experience, the author talks about the distinction between selling the product and selling the visitor experience.
Admittedly, tour operators are generally much better at engaging the customers. They've got to engage the customer in a way that allows the customer to imagine themselves enjoying the travel experience.
From Bloomberg Businessweek's How to Sell More Than a Product...
The greatest entrepreneurs don't sell products; they sell an experience like fun, happiness, or a comfortable, inviting place to enjoy a cappuccino. What experience does your product offer? If you're an insurance agent, do you sell annuities or "peace of mind"? If you're a financial planner, do you sell mutual funds or "financial freedom"? Think hard about what your brand really stands for—it's not always the product itself.
Odds are there are hundreds, if not thousands, of competitors offering the same type of "product" that your business provides. Stand out by standing for something.
What do you plan to do to sell the experience?