Sales Strategy: Selling What Something Does


People don’t like to be sold, but they do like to buy. They like to be helped. They want their situation to be improved. They want their pains to be alleviated. They want to save time. They want to save money. But here’s a little secret — no one gets up in the morning thinking about buying your product.

They want what something does, not what it is.

So often in sales, though, we sit down with someone and we talk about what our product is. But that’s not what people care about. When it comes to sales, people are interested in two things: what something does and how what it does will benefit them.

The best illustration of this concept that I’ve ever seen comes from a great life insurance salesman from many, many years ago. His name was Ben Feldman.

He said, “There may have been a few million quarter inch drills sold in this country last year. But nobody that bought a quarter inch drill wanted a quarter inch drill. What they all wanted was a quarter inch hole.” That’s stuck with me for many years.

People don’t buy what it is. They buy what it does.

Nick Serba

Nick Serba

Nick Serba has enjoyed a successful career spanning 30 years in Sales, Sales Training, Sales Leadership Training, and Sales Management. Some of his experiences include working as a General Manager with New York Life, operating numerous entrepreneurial businesses, and, for the last 20 years, serving as a Regional Vice President for LegalShield.