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What Are You Really Selling?

What Are You Really Selling?

Here’s something I’ve learned that has completely transformed how I do business: people don’t care about your stuff; they care how your stuff will help them get their stuff.

We think we’re selling a mutual fund, a leadership workshop, dental supplies, or a business strategy— but we’re not.

What we’re really selling is the thing our mutual fund, workshop, dental supplies, or business strategy will give our client.

The truth is—your client doesn’t care about your product, service, or expertise. What you are selling—the product, service or expertise—is the transaction.

This is often where we get stuck. We are so enthralled with our offer that we forget why our client wants the thing we’re offering in the first place.

What our client cares most about is the outcome or result our offer will get them. This is the transformation.

We need to be asking ourselves: what change will my client get as a result of doing business with me? This is what you are actually selling.

Here’s an Example

One of the best illustrations I’ve come across is from Harvard marketing professor Theodore Levitt where he famously said, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill bit. They want a quarter-inch hole.”

A customer walks into a hardware store looking to buy a drill. Now, you’re thinking he wants a drill. Indeed, he does, but he doesn’t really want the drill. What he wants is what the drill will give him. You see, he wants to put a shelf on his wall so he can display a few family photos and an award he recently received.

So, he wants to buy the drill to make holes so he can put up a shelf?  He does but it goes deeper than this. He wants the drill to put up the shelf to display his family photos and his award so he can be reminded of the connection and love he feels towards his family and the significance and leadership he’s contributed to his industry.

It’s not the drill he’s really buying. Your client is buying what the drill does. The drill gives him holes for a shelf, which then gives him a way to celebrate and validate who he is and the life he has.

As a professional, you love your transaction, because it’s the special thing you have to help your clients. It’s the offer, the product, service, or expertise you bring to help facilitate the transformation your client wants.

It’s okay to love the transaction but it cannot come at the expense of not acknowledging the transformation. You need to love the transformation even more than the product, service, or expertise you use to help your clients.

Shift from focusing on the transaction to the transformation.

If you’re a workshop leader, you talk less about what will happen in the workshop by describing the content and the exercises you’ll do and focus more on what will happen as a result of the training, things like “Your team will communicate better, improve their relationships and, as a result, deliver their best performance on a current project.”

If you’re a financial adviser, talk less about the product features of the mutual fund, where it’s invested, and the types of stocks and bonds.  Instead, talk more about the peace of mind your clients will get knowing that they have a retirement fund with the appropriate level of risk to support their lifestyle.

If you sell dental supplies, you talk less about the price discounts available when your client buys in bulk or if they bundle their purchase with additional products and say more about the one-of-a-kind experience their patients will get because the tools they use are gentle, non-invasive, and reduce anxiety.

The transactional details such as the product features, process, and price are important, but if you make it centre stage, you will lose your client.

Your client can’t get excited about all the bells and whistles that come with your offer till they know and understand the transformation they’ll receive as a result of it.

Ask yourself this:

What transformation are you facilitating for your clients through your product, service, or expertise?

What benefit or change will happen for them because they chose to do business with you?

Let me know where you get stuck when it comes to selling? Are you focusing on the transaction or transformation? Drop me an email at to tell more.

PS: I talk a lot about moving from transactional to transformational selling in my book: Sell From Love. Get your copy on Amazon today.

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Sell From Love Academy

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Module 07Design a Marketing Strategy that Feels Good

The goal of this module is to make your Brilliant Difference and Most Important Thing Offer – VISIBLE.

There’s a saying, build it and they will come. We wish that it worked this way, rather fear does; because then we wouldn’t have to put our selves out there, up for judgement and rejection. Sharing your work, your services and expertise can be scary. But when we come from a place of love, as author Susan Jeffers says we “feel the fear and do it anyway.”

That is how we sell from love. We acknowledge fears presence and at the same time we take action that is aligned to our deepest desire and highest potential and possibility.

In this module we talk about the journey of making you and your offer visible to your clients and the milestones along the way, that will ultimately get you both to a place of saying YES, to working with each other.

Visibility is an option you decide on. My hope after this module is that you make a decision to be visible, in a way that feels good to you and is on the edge of your comfort zone. We need more of you, your Brilliant Difference and your work out in the world. Let’s help your ideal clients find you by showing them where you are.

In this Module you will:

Module 06Craft a Compelling Offer

The goal of this module is to clarify and confirm your most important thing – your offer.  In essence, it is what are you selling that you will use to serve your clients with and help facilitate the transformations they are seeking.

There are two important parts of the offer conversation we need to highlight here –

  • What are you offering to your clients – what are they getting?
  • What your clients are offering to you – what you are receiving for extending that offer?

Fear as a tendency to get in the way when we get to this part of the selling process.  But, not anymore, because you’re seeing that your offer is not about you, it’s about your clients and what they will get as a result of working with you.

In this Module you will:

Module 05Define Your Clients’ Transaction to Transformation Story

The goal of this module is to help you identify what is really happening when you sell. There’s the thing you are selling, and then there’s the thing your client is buying. What are the differences? And how do you not let selling from fear interfere and water down your transformation to a transaction.

At every stage of selling, fear has an opportunity to enter, this is even more prevalent when we are engaging and enrolling a client into our offers. This module is all about getting you aligned to what you are really selling – a transformation and giving you the tools to communicate that to your clients. This way you and your client are on the same page with what you are selling and what they are buying.

In this Module you will:

Module 04Discover Your Essential Client Conversation Skills

The goal of this module is to help you learn and understand how to create an environment that facilitates trust, connection, and confidence with your clients.  You play a critical role in making this happen for yourself and your clients, so fear does not get in the way of your intentions and impact.  In this module you’ll learn how to create a safe space for your clients that help them choose you as their trusted adviser.  You’ll also walk away with the most important conversation skills you need to that will help you do that.

In this Module you will:

Module 03Use Love as a Sales Strategy

The goal of this module is to help you move from your comfort zone and into your courage zone with love. Selling is filled with opportunities for fear to poke its head up inevitably holding you back from sharing your work and making the impact you know you are here to make. This is why we need to acknowledge that fear will be there, especially in times when you’re doing something you’ve never done before or reaching for goals you’ve never set out to accomplish before. This module is all about equipping you with the right tools to move forward with confidence, elegance, and ease.

In this Module you will:

Module 02Claim Your Brilliant Difference

The goal of this module is to help you discover and name your Brilliant Difference. This uniqueness you bring is here to add value and make change in the world. It’s here to make the word a better place. Focusing on who you are and finding the words to articulate your Brilliant Difference is fundamental to loving yourself, the first pillar to sell from love.
In this Module you will:

Module 01Unlock the Power of Love

The goal of this module is to increase awareness of when you are selling from love vs. fear and how embracing a new definition of selling will help you move closer to love.  Plus, you’ll learn all about how to manage the fears you face every time you market yourself and your business, make offers to sell your products and services, start on a new project or business idea.

In this Module you will: