Are You Selling a Necessity, or a Luxury?

Last week we talked about how to market your technology in a way that makes it integral to your customers’ lives. This week, I’d like to talk about the differences in selling a necessity versus selling a luxury.

Now, keep in mind that both necessities and luxuries can be integral to our lives. I don’t need an iPhone, but I sure can’t imagine going back a bare-bones flip phone or even worse, only having a land line!

To continue on the iPhone theme, a phone is a necessity, and some might argue that for many professionals, even a smart phone is a necessity in order to have access to your email and the internet at all times. An Apple Watch, on the other hand, is a luxury. It’s not necessary for daily life or business, but it serves as a status symbol.

When selling a necessity like a phone, your focus is why yours is the best, most practical option. You point out how and why you are the better value than your competitors, how the superior features of your product will save the customer time or money over the long run. Your selling points might include the durability of the product, the ease of upgrades, or a good support package and warranty. People want to know that they can rely on a necessity to perform well and last for a long time. They also like to save money when they can, so they can afford more luxuries.

An ideal sales pitch for a necessity should make the customer feel like your product is the best, smartest option for their life. It should be largely fact based: What models or options do you offer, how much does each cost, etc. To keep it from being too utilitarian, draw upon the human element and tie it into your customers lifestyle: THIS is the best option for a young single, THAT is the perfect package for a large family, THE OTHER ONE is more durable for outdoor adventures.

To sell a luxury item, such as an Apple Watch, you focus less on the tangible benefits, and more on the intangible benefits. Instead of selling options, you’re selling emotions. Is your product fun? Is it sexy? How does owning it and using it make your customers feel? You may not want to come out and say that it will make all of their friends jealous, but there’s nothing wrong with letting the customer come to that conclusion on their own! The idea is to make your product so cool, the customer starts to believe that it is a necessity, just because they can’t imagine life without it.

An ideal sales pitch for a luxury item should invoke thoughts of luxury. Think of the elegant marketing campaigns for high-end cars and watches, and try to evoke a similar feeling when pitching your technology. You don’t have leather interiors or gold and diamonds, but you do have cutting-edge technology. Is your product the fastest on the market, like an Italian sports car? Is it the most precise, like a Swiss watch? Is it the most elegant, like a couture gown? Focus on what makes you stand out from the every day technology.

Your company may sell both necessities and luxuries, like Apple. If so, you may have to have sales pitches for each individually, as well as a pitch for both. Does your luxury item enhance the use of your necessity item? You should have a pitch that reflects that. Show your customers that they can have the best of both worlds: an efficient necessity and an elegant luxury, which interface seamlessly.

If your marketing team has taken our advice about establishing your technology as an integral part of your customers’ lives, you should include that in your sales pitch as well. Necessities and luxuries alike are integral for a well-rounded, happy life!

-AJ

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