I’m Selling an Info Product, Not a House!

November 22, 2011 · Print This Article

marketing-info-productSometimes when I’m taking a lunch break in my Internet marketing day, I’ll watch a little TV.

One show I like to watch is HGTV’s Selling New York. These realtors are selling several million dollar homes in high rise buildings in New York. It’s a world so far removed from my suburban life that I’m fascinated by it.

Today there was a young real estate agent who was having a hard time selling a 3 million dollar place for 2 reasons:
 
1.  There was a great water view but a large building was going to be built that would end up obstructing some of that view.
 
2.  The unit was completely empty of furniture.
 
He did sell it after he made some adjustments in his selling techniques. This is what he did:
 

   1.  Instead of selling the view, he sold them on the amenities and lifestyle they would be getting. He painted a picture for people.

He had a brochure done up showing all the improvements that the new up-coming building owners were doing to the area – new restaurants, a new park, new boutiques, etc. and instead of fussing over the view that would change, he pointed out how much the unit would appreciate in the near future.

This unit would be a good investment for a smart buyer, plus the buyer could enjoy a wonderful lifestyle.

Was he conning them?

No. He merely accented the positives and spelled it all out for them. He didn’t assume they’d “get it”, he painted the picture for them. And he didn’t stop there, he had blueprints for the new up-coming, view-blocking building so they knew what it would look like and just what the view would then be. He helped them see it.

   2.  Houses that have no furniture in them are harder to sell. So the real estate agent had it staged.

That means a company came in and filled it with sofas, chairs, beds, the whole bit. But staging is not about using just any old furniture, it’s about creating vignettes in every room that showed just how the potential buyer could use the room.

Stagers sell the lifestyle, and it works because most people don’t quite have the imagination to see themselves living in the place when it’s empty.
Now take these lessons and apply them to marketing an info product.

   How are you marketing your product?

   What’s your “speech”?

A lot is riding on your salescopy, and just like with selling a house, you need to accent the positives for people. While you might think “duh!” to the benefits you think are obvious, you have to realize others might not have thought of them and you should be spelling them all out. You also need to find a way to get people past the negatives, which would be their objections.

As far as staging your product… get visual. Show the tool in action, show the before and after results, show how to use it, give a tour of your dashboard. That way they can picture themselves easily using it and they can see the results they’d have too. When they can picture themselves with the product in hand; it becomes theirs.

Even if you’re an affiliate for the product, these techniques can help. Maybe even more so because you’re going beyond what the other affiliates are doing.

Possible ideas regarding staging an info product:
 
  • Host a webinar or teleseminar where you answer the potential customers’ questions.
  • Take them by the hand and walk them through the product so they can see how to use it.
  • Explain exactly how you’re using the product and be transparent about your results.
  • Show a Before and After.
  • Offer up your ideas on how to use the product, including outside-the-box ideas.
  • Allow them the opportunity to collaborate with you on a project involving the product. Boy is this one powerful! They can certainly see themselves working with you and having your support along the way.
So what would you do to help your customer see themselves using the product and/or benefiting from the product?
 
I’d love to have your input, and look forward to your comments below. :)

 

 

Comments

34 Responses to “I’m Selling an Info Product, Not a House!”

  1. Raj on November 23rd, 2011 3:03 am

    The hands-on experience is always powerful. While highlighting the plus points are important, a marketer also needs to mention the minus points at an appropriate time. This will ensure that the buyers don’t feel cheated after they purchase. This is important for maintaining a long term relationship.
    Raj recently posted ..Traffic Tuesday – Optimize Your Youtube Videos For More Traffic

  2. Peggy
    Twitter:
    on November 23rd, 2011 9:53 am

    Hi Raj,

    “a marketer also needs to mention the minus points at an appropriate time.”

    - Absolutely! You must be honest about your product – no false claims and no promising the world. We’ve all seen those types of sales pages. :(

    The real estate agent was honest and told prospective buyers that a huge building was going to be built that would block some of the gorgeous view. He was probably obligated to do so, but can you imagine what would have happened if the buyers found out after the fact?

    Thanks for your input, Raj.
    Peggy
    Peggy recently posted ..I’d Like To Make It Easier For You To Whip Out Quality Content…

  3. Adrienne
    Twitter:
    on November 23rd, 2011 2:04 pm

    Now aren’t you glad you watched that show? It gave you a great analogy to use for this post. I love reading these too. You are so inventive. Oh, and you are SO right too!

    Share with them the benefits and quit sharing all about how great the product is. That’s where a lot of people go wrong in this industry. They talk more about the company and the price instead of what you’ll get from it.

    Stay true to yourself, never add any hype and be honest.

    Great tips Peggy! Thanks for sharing this.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted ..Do You REALLY Want To Know How To Build A Successful Business?

  4. admin
    Twitter:
    on November 23rd, 2011 6:33 pm

    Hi Adrienne,

    LoL. It’s a great day when one can peg a TV show as helpful with their internet marketing. ;)

    You’re right. A lot will talk about the company and the price rather than how it can help the buyer. Another one I see is the creators who go on and on about all the blood, sweat, tears and time it took them to create the product. The buyer doesn’t care about that!

    Thanks girl,
    Peggy

  5. Lucille C. Forst on November 24th, 2011 3:14 am

    Hi Peggy,

    Thanks for this post. Nowadays finding a honest entrepreneur is hard. They forget that honesty will give them a constant buyer and lying will give them instant custumers but not constant.
    Lucille C. Forst recently posted ..How To Make Money From Blogging

  6. ecom-met on November 25th, 2011 10:34 am

    A webinar seems like a great idea, not sure I’d have the confidence to host such a service, but if you have the balls it seems a good plan. Outlining exactly how your info product should be used seems a very good approach.

  7. admin
    Twitter:
    on November 25th, 2011 10:43 am

    Hi Lucille,
    I agree, honesty is so important. I like how you said it… “lying will give them instant customers but not constant”. Well put!

    Thanks,
    Peggy

  8. admin
    Twitter:
    on November 25th, 2011 10:46 am

    Hello ecom-met (love to have real names, btw),

    A webinar is a scary thing, but keep in mind no one knows your product as good as you do. Or if it’s an affiliate product you own and use, you’re going to be very familiar with it and have some tricks and insights that potential customers don’t have.

    Thanks :)
    Peggy

  9. Lisa
    Twitter:
    on November 25th, 2011 12:32 pm

    Powerful stuff and gives much to think about. I’ve been thinking about how I can add more ‘show not tell’ to my projects (especially future one). A lot of times I think that people already know what I’m going to show so I don’t . Silly me.
    Lisa recently posted ..Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012

  10. Rohit on November 26th, 2011 2:28 am

    This is nothing but creative thinking by the real estate agent. People who are creative in their thinking, they will never ever fail in any situation in business. Like what that real estate agent did. It is important for us who are running a business, to think creative and be ready for any kind of problems.
    Rohit recently posted ..Learning The Truth About Abs

  11. admin
    Twitter:
    on November 26th, 2011 12:17 pm

    Hi Lisa,

    You make a really great point when you say a lot of times you don’t show people because you think they already know. They really don’t know and would appreciate it! :)

    That’s like my AHA moment several years ago when someone suggested I do an info product on a certain thing. I pooh-poohed it and said it was too easy because it was for me. She said (a little offended), “Well, it certainly isn’t easy for me!” Ooooh,,,, I get it….

  12. admin
    Twitter:
    on November 26th, 2011 12:21 pm

    Hello Rohit,

    Yes, you nailed it! Creative thinking! It can only help if we look at our businesses, our products, our issues, and come up with creative ways to move forward.

  13. Pettina on November 29th, 2011 5:54 am

    I totally agree with you… Honesty in everything will earn the trust of the consumers and costumers. If they are happy with you, they will surely keep on coming back for your products. Thank you for sharing the article…
    Pettina recently posted ..Treatments For Panic Attacks

  14. Sue
    Twitter:
    on November 29th, 2011 1:19 pm

    Congrats on your placement in the turkey run!

    Writing sales pages is hard and you really have to shift your focus and step into the buyer’s shoes. Once you can do this you will have a much better conversion rate on your sales. It is difficult to do well and takes time and practice plus patience to learn.

    Just like the sales guy look for the positives and the benefits and make them front and center of your pitch.

    Thanks for another wonderful and thought provoking article.
    Sue recently posted ..Why Your Business Needs a Blog

  15. admin
    Twitter:
    on November 29th, 2011 2:41 pm

    Hi Pettina,
    Honesty is the best policy. Otherwise it will come back to bite you in the tush, right? :) Plus you can sleep better at night knowing you’ve done the right thing.

    Thanks for stopping by.
    Peggy

  16. admin
    Twitter:
    on November 29th, 2011 2:44 pm

    Thanks Sue!
    I didn’t have a great time in the 5K, but apparently that doesn’t matter when you’re in the older age division. ;)

    Anyway, yes! I like what you say about putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes. That way you can focus on what he/she wants and get them the right fit.

    Peggy

  17. Des
    Twitter:
    on November 29th, 2011 5:52 pm

    Hey Peggy,

    Wow, I haven’t been here for a while, how are you?

    One of the basic mistakes I think a lot of marketers make is speaking to a crowd instead of one person. I think if you can tailor your posts and even video presentations to an individual it’ll be a lot more effective.

    Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and place to address people as “Hey gang”, ” Hi guys”, but more often than not it’s better to speak 1 to 1.

    As for ideas. I think competitions to leave comments or facebook “likes” is a great before a product launch. At least this way you get some form of particpation from your prospective purchasers.
    Des recently posted ..Careful You Don’t Give The Farm Away

  18. Anna on November 30th, 2011 10:17 am

    I also think that being honest is the best strategy to be good entrepreneur and thus you will have more clients for sure! You gave this excellent point here:)
    Anna recently posted ..porcelain veneers

  19. Mark@Local SEO Crusher Review on November 30th, 2011 12:08 pm

    I think the best way to get customers is to tell them the truth. Sometimes we overdo advertising and this what gets us into trouble. Be honest with the product and they will appreciate that.
    Mark@Local SEO Crusher Review recently posted ..How To Grow A HUGE Business With Internet Marketing

  20. admin
    Twitter:
    on November 30th, 2011 8:17 pm

    Hey Des, it has been a long time! I’m so glad to see you. :)

    I agree that you should usually speak to one person rather than the crowd. Just as that piece of real estate wasn’t going to be right for everyone, neither will your products.

    I did a contest and gave away some books for comments and I got some super comments with valuable insights. I have yet to do a FB Like contest. Have you? Any pointers?

    Thanks,
    Peggy

  21. admin
    Twitter:
    on November 30th, 2011 8:20 pm

    Thanks Anna! Honesty is easier and more fun, plus you can sleep at night.

  22. Steve@Affiliate Marketing Tips
    Twitter:
    on December 1st, 2011 12:23 pm

    Peggy,

    Some great tips here. It is very important not to, “assume” that the people you are selling to know all the advantages of the product.

    Like you say, it is important to paint that picture for them. Being honest, aboveboard, yet making sure people see the benefits is what it is all about!

    What a great lesson to learn…selling homes in this economy is tough, so these guys really have to know there buiness. Great lesson.
    Steve@Affiliate Marketing Tips recently posted ..119 Free Internet Marketing Tools to Grow YOUR Online Business or Blog

  23. Yasir Khan on December 1st, 2011 4:37 pm

    Interesting post, Peggy. I totally agree — most people need help when it comes to picturing or imagining the ‘perks, pros, or rewards’ of a product or a service. If you talk to them and they can’t picture clearly in their heads what you are offering, they are more inclined to say NO. Of course, this does not mean over exaggerating descriptions, benefits, and the like — it’s always important to be honest (as you mentioned in a previous reply to another commenter).
    Thank you for this nice post.

  24. satrap
    Twitter:
    on December 5th, 2011 4:07 pm

    Hi Peggy,

    I love the comparison, it really make sense.

    I haven’t done any serious product creation yet myslef, but I am working on my first big one currently. And although I am far away from promotion, your tips go a long way for me. Thank you.
    satrap recently posted ..How to Make Money with Photography

  25. Theresa on December 5th, 2011 9:08 pm

    I totally appreciate everything that you said in your article. What if your business is based upon selling yourself though rather than an actual tangeable product? I think that blogging is a great idea. Social networking sites too. I guess it is about selling yourself and your personality.
    Theresa recently posted ..Important Things to Incorporate into Your Web Site Continued…

  26. paul wolfe on December 6th, 2011 5:19 am

    Hey Peggy

    You must be gearing up already for the ski season – hope you’ve got more snow than we have in Europe! (Verbier – temps of 12 degree centigrade the other day!).

    One of the things I’ve been researching and thinking about (i.e. procrastinating!) is a Video Sales Letter. Those guys who claim it works say that it converts from between two times and five times better than a long form sales letter. So it’s something that I have to try out and test myself.

    I think this could be the way forward….let you know when I’ve tested it myself!

    Paul
    paul wolfe recently posted ..The Duct Tape Marketing/Content Marketing Challenge (part 3)

  27. Peggy
    Twitter:
    on December 6th, 2011 4:46 pm

    Hi Steve,

    “it is important to paint that picture for them. Being honest, aboveboard, yet making sure people see the benefits is what it is all about!”

    I agree. I think it’s totally possible to ethically do both – be honest yet paint the picture of the benefits to help them see.

    Thanks. :)
    Peggy recently posted ..I’d Like To Make It Easier For You To Whip Out Quality Content…

  28. Peggy
    Twitter:
    on December 6th, 2011 4:48 pm

    Hello Yasir,

    You’re right; if people can’t “see” it, their first inclination is to say NO. And who can blame them? It appears an iffy proposition and there’s probably a sure thing just down the road.

    Peggy

  29. Peggy
    Twitter:
    on December 6th, 2011 4:50 pm

    Thanks Satrap,

    Hurry up and get your product out there, man!
    tick, tock, tick, tock…

    your public awaits! :D

  30. Peggy
    Twitter:
    on December 6th, 2011 5:24 pm

    Hi Theresa,

    Thank you for bringing up selling yourself rather than a product! That has to come first, doesn’t it? I mean, if that real estate agent had not established himself as someone trustworthy, it wouldn’t matter what he said – the potential buyers would not have believed him.

    In our online world, that does translate to blogging and using social media where we can be transparent and honest, and consistently follow through on our word.

    Once people trust you, they’re more open to buying what you recommend. And you won’t recommend something unless it’s a good fit for the majority of your readers and it’s a worthy product.

    Peggy

  31. Peggy
    Twitter:
    on December 6th, 2011 5:33 pm

    Hey Paul,

    It is freezing outside! When I went to bed last night it was -3F, which is way colder than we’re used to here, and too cold for skiing right now for me. :) It’s supposed to be 45F tomorrow though.

    Oooh, yes, do a case study on video sales letters and let me know! The little thing that’s stopping me? What exactly to say on the video. I don’t want to just read what would have been in writing.

    Keep me posted please.
    Peggy
    Peggy recently posted ..I’d Like To Make It Easier For You To Whip Out Quality Content…

  32. Francoise on December 7th, 2011 11:35 am

    If you are selling something, you should know your product first before offering it to the market. Know the benefits of your product. In this way, you will be confident enough to sell it in the market. You can explain everything they want to know about the product. And the most important thing is, tell them the truth. They deserve it.
    Francoise recently posted ..My Arowana Is Not Eating No Matter What I Do !!!

  33. Gere on December 9th, 2011 11:29 am

    Peggy,

    I think it is great that you were able to realize that the example on this show was analogous to the work we try to do online. We’re constantly surrounded by similar examples, but if we don’t recognize them, we can’t get anything out of it. Definitely inspires me to pay closer attention. Maybe watching TV isn’t a waste of time after all!

    Thanks for a great post.

    Gere
    Gere recently posted ..Joomla and K2 vs. WordPress for Blogging: Why We Chose WordPress

  34. Diane on December 27th, 2011 3:54 pm

    Hi Peggy

    Being honest in selling is really important, you don’t want to try to pull the wool over people’s eyes. I find the same with the photos that I present for what I sell in my gift boxes and baskets online. I want people to know exactly what they are buying, not a list that says…”and other goodies”. What exactly is that and how do you know exactly what you are getting?

    I love your ideas about selling the positives on the potential of the real estate. It really does show us what we can do for our own businesses, both online and offline.

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