Let's assume you desperately want to knock off some weight. And you're serious enough to get onto a structured eating system.
Let's also assume, you were presented with two diets
Diet 1 consists of:
Cake. Maybe even chocolate cake.
Pasta with Cheese. Some butter chicken.
Diet 2 consists of:
The occasional cake or chocolate.
Don't tell me which one you've chosen
I already know.
But hang on a second. You said you needed to lose weight, right? So you know darned well, that Diet No.2 is the one to choose.
So why on earth are you eyeing Diet No.1?
Because you know what you need. But it's not what you want. You want to eat. You want to drink. You want to enjoy yourself, not watch in envy as others around have a rollicking time, while you're on another silly boiled veggie diet.
And that's where Weight Watchers comes in
To quote their website: Eat all the foods you love on the Flex Plan… -Enjoy the full range of food options, while making better choices with the POINTS system. -Choose any food, as long as you control how much you eat. -Easily handle any food challenge, even when choices are limited.
Notice what they just sold you?
Not what you need. But what you want. The people that go to Weight Watchers aren't veggie eaters.
Not by a long shot.
The customers at Weight Watchers lurrrve their food. They adore their wine. They want their ice-creams and their chocolate. And Weight Watchers gives them what they want–namely the ability to eat what they want–as long as they stick to the eating plan.
It's the same reason why teenagers buy pimple cream
It isn't because of the rich, wonderful perfume. Teens give a damn about the perfume. What they want is to have flawless skin–so they can get a date.
So look at the pimple cream ad on TV
What's it talking about? It's talking about the darned texture of the cream. It's talking about the fragrance. It's talking about the new packaging. Oh c'mon give me–and all those teenagers out there a break.
They don't care about the whiz bang features of your cream.
They don't care about your background or your company heritage. They don't care about your la-dee-dah packaging.
They just want the date, get it? The date. Nothing but the date. And only the date. So sell them the date, will ya?
Businesses make this mistake every thirty five seconds 🙂
They try and sell software.
They try and sell marketing strategies.
They try and sell copywriting services.
They try and sell better websites.
But does the customer really want any of the above?
Like hell they do. If someone on the next block–or even the next planet, was able to promise your customer money, freedom and respect, your customers would all be exiting through la salida, mucho rapidemente! Yes, without so much as sniffing your strategies, software, websites or whatever it is you're selling.
I want you to listen carefully to what I have to say…
Because it will get you more customers–and hence more profits than ever before. Ask your customer what they want. Then give them what they want. Word for word. Don't get all misty-eyed with the product or the service you're selling. It ain't going to help you sell better. Or more. Or more often.
And here's what you need to do.
Do some research
No, not some $85,000 research. Just speak to your customers. Ask them what they want most for their business.
Possibly even make a list of possible things your customers could want, and then get them to rate what's most important on the list. Then collate the list. And put the things that your customers reeeeeeally want, at the top of the list.
Weight Watchers is teaching you a lesson…
But are you listening? Weight Watchers knows fully well what the customer needs. But they sell what the customer wants. Because eventually by tapping into the wants, Weight Watchers is able to give the customers what they really need–namely weight reduction and overall fitness. Not to speak of improved eating habits.
But Weight Watchers knows that the motivation can only come from eating the yummy stuff–and almost never from munching boring broccoli.
The secret is always in the want.
As in: I want my MTV. I want my IPod. And all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth! 🙂
Jay Gumbs says
Very true. Thats why all these gurus tell you they made $987,654.32 in two weeks and then show you a screenshot of their account. Because they know you aren’t really going to read the ebook or watch their 30 hours of video content, you just want the money.
Sean D'Souza says
There’s no way a customer would know they want an iPod. So in that way, I agree with your disagreement. 😉
Customers don’t actually ask for specifics, because you’re right—they don’t know what they want—but only in terms of specifics.
This is why the want factor is the holy grail for most marketers. How do you give someone what they want, when even they don’t know they want it. And not only do they not know, but they’ll never admit to wanting it.
That’s to say: If you went up to someone and said: Would you buy an mp3 player for $350 which could scroll and hold all your music (instead of your CDs), you’d actually get a no. Now it seems implausible that people would turn down the iPod. But that’s not what Apple really sold to us when they sold us the iPod.
They sold us the fact that we need to be cool. Look at the iPod ads that you saw on billboards everywhere. There was no description of the iPod at all. Instead we saw bright orange, green, etc posters of people in silhouette (and they were dancing with these white headphones).
That’s really what people want when they buy an iPod or iPhone. They’ll rationalise it with the “Oh, I bought it for the features”, but give them another brand such as Rio Diamond (yes, they created the first mp3 player) and give them the exact features of the iPod, and they won’t buy it from you. Or even be happy if you gave it to them as a gift for their birthday.
The Want factor is deeper, almost at gut level. The customers never agree that you could come up with such a crazy idea. Think about it. You’re sitting in a board meeting for Weight Watchers, and some smart alec comes up with the concept: Let’s sell them “food”.
Ah, what an idiotic idea, you think. These folks are headed to Weight Watchers to eat food? They can get all the food they want at the Burger King or Chopsuey Palace down the road. No way are they coming here for food. They’re here to lose weight. And that’s not the Want Factor.
The Want Factor is “show me the food”. Just like the Want Factor in workshops is “show me the exit”.
It’s a bit of a book, and I’ve been making notes, but it’s not something you can amble up to a customer and say: What do you want? The answer is always: I don’t know.
Or rather: I don’t know what I want, but I know what I don’t want. 🙂
Vernon Young says
Personally I like broccoli, the cool look looks stupid, and expensive sport cars have no practical use. My point is, some where out there, there is a costumer looking for what you are offering no mater how you present it. Being honest about your offering is number one for me. We all know our offering must satisfy some perceived need the prospective customer has.
I appreciate your comments as I am still looking for the best way to present our services.