Dangerous phrases: “The product sells itself”

The product sells itself.  How many times have you been told this, or heard it from a manager, or even thought it yourself of the product you’ve created?  In saying this, the thinking is that the product is simply so good that once the customer sees how it works they will definitely buy it.

This is a dangerous phrase for two reasons.  Firstly, no matter how good your product is, if you as a business don’t spend the necessary time engaging with your clients and understanding what’s important to them they won’t even look at your product.  Secondly, even if your potential customer does spend some time looking at your product, they’re not going to buy it based on how it works, they’re going to make a buying decision based on what it does for them.  For example, people and businesses don’t choose to buy a piece of software based on how the buttons work, they buy it based on the fact that it improves outcomes, save time, or simplifies a difficult task.  The product doesn’t sell itself – it’s the business that sells the outcomes that using that product can achieve.

Sales strategy should not be about describing how the product works, but about communicating the value proposition – how the product is going to help your client – and you’ll find that getting this right will open the door to far more sales opportunities than a simple product overview.


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