How to Speak Effectively When Selling Intangible Benefits
Value Matters No Matter What You Do!
I recently attended an art gallery opening, something I hadn't done in some time. I was looking forward to it, not just for the social experience, but also because my college degree was in painting. Then add to it an exhibit called "Inspired by Italy" (to which I love to travel) had me looking forward to it. Arriving and being offered a glass of Prosecco made it start off enjoyable. La vita bella, right? The art was varied, some of which I enjoyed more than others as one would expect. There were some beautiful pieces of glassware as well as intriguing photos and paintings.
Then it came time for the artists to speak. This was an exhibit of a number of artists so there were several speakers. My heart sank for virtually every one of them. Not that I was expecting the most trained public speakers but I watched as many fizzled with the opportunity. The speeches didn't have a feel of inspiration, of taking the meaning of the work and conveying that to the audience - and perhaps some of that audience may have been potential buyers. Rather the speeches focused instead on a little bit of the story of where they were done and a little on the technique but not why they mattered as artwork to be shared with others.
Of course my focus may be more on the public speaking than many people there but the talks dimmed some of my enjoyment. I left wishing there had been something inspiring they could have shared. And I wondered if that lack of inspiration meant some people weren't put into the excitement of owning a piece or two.
Not every decision people make to buy comes down to dollars and cents. An investment in artwork may be inspired by something different than, say, an investment in a new logo for your business.
But the bottom line remains that until the seller of something conveys why that item or service does something the customer would find worthwhile, that buying decision is a hard one to make.
Perhaps the artists could have spoken of the uplifting feeling someone would have viewing the work in her or his house, and how that positive spirit could improve their lives in specific ways. Perhaps there would be a sense of self-worth and validation the buyer could have by declaring that she or he was deserving of owning such a special piece. It always takes some exploration, particularly when the benefits are not as financially tangible.
By talking about techniques and where the painting was painted and other details that would matter more to the artists, they made it seem as if the value was what the artist thought was important. It's always determined by what customers think is important.