Sales = Market + Concept + Product

There is a hierarchy of things that need to be observed in sales. Most businesses either prioritise these all wrong, or worse, miss out the critical element altogether: concept.

Here’s the hierarchy:

Market: A crowd of starving people. All bets are off if you’re not fishing where the fish are to begin with. You must have a starving, qualified, prospect list.
Concept (angle/USP/offer): If the market is a lake full of fish, the concept is the bait on the hook. Clearly, the concept is driven by the market.
Product: To continue the fishing analogy, this is the fishing rod or net. If you don’t have a lake full of fish with juicy bait, you can have the best fishing equipment in the world and it won’t matter. Sure, you want the best gear (products), but observe the hierarchy. Clearly, and this is the part people can’t grasp, product should be driven by concept.

You should appreciate the importance of formulating a powerful CONCEPT based on the MARKET and create a quality PRODUCT according to that concept. How can you put this into action? There are 4 critical elements to creating a powerful concept (C.C.U.S.):

1) Customer Requirements

The concept must RESONATE with the intended audience. Note: this is not what you THINK they should have or need, but what they WANT deep down on an emotional level. You can only achieve this if you know your customer profile intimately.

2) Credibility

It must be credible. People NEED to believe there are available solutions to fix their problems. Moreover, they WANT to believe your concept if it suits them.

3) Uniqueness

This is the key; the real trick. This is the essence of concept. Essentially, the question is: what’s so special about YOUR product/service?

Why does Starbucks sell more coffee than a mom and pop café when essentially the product is the same: a cup of coffee (By the way, a cup of coffee is hardly an original product if you find yourself obsessing about having to be original).

Starbucks don’t sell coffee as much as an experience. This is found by tapping into the deep recesses of your market’s psyche and requires a great deal of thought.

4) Story

People like a story, or at least the seeds of one their imagination can pick up on, perhaps by implication.

So they’re the ingredients of a good concept. The main things people wrestle with are the clear distinction between product and concept and how to come up with a good concept once they make this distinction.

This is the TRUE art of an astute business person. That the battle is won or lost before a single word of copy is written and even before the product is created, by the development of a powerful concept.

Now consider these questions:

What are the deepest subconscious desires, wants and needs of your niche?
Does your service/product meet these?
How do you articulate to your niche that your service meets their needs?
How does your service meet the 4 criteria for a powerful concept?
Does your business meet the 3 requirements for sales success:

Do you have a starving market?
Do you have a compelling, well articulated, concept?
Does your service/product fulfil the needs of your starving market?