The MOST important thing to know if you want to sell anything, make an impact, and move anyone

Whether we like to think it or not, we’re all ’salespeople’ in some way or another. This is the case, even if we don’t like to call it ’sales’ and even if no money is exchanging hands.

In some form or another, it is very often required of us that we sell ourselves (interviews, dating, meeting new people, and landing jobs) and our products (services, books, products).

On ‘Enthusing’ People

Any kind of ‘selling’ involves the process of ‘enthusing’ other people in some way. I.e. moving others to be enthusiastic about something – and often to the extent that they are willing to pay for the value at stake.

Think about the last time you needed to generate enthusiasm in someone else. I’ll bet it was pretty recently, and you’ve probably had to at least contemplate the importance of enthusing other people many times in the past.

The truth is, moving other people is pretty damn important for moving ahead, making an impact and improving the lives of others.

What is the benefit of what you provide, to the user?

Just yesterday I received an email from someone looking to ’sell’ me on a new event that they wanted me to attend. The trouble is, it looked interesting, but I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about the project, nor was I moved to take action and buy a ticket.

The reason?

The email lacked the absolute crucial ingredient you need for enthusing anybody: the benefit to me of what they were offering.

Persuading anybody means presenting the benefits, with clarity, to the user. In the case of the email I received yesterday, the user is me. The sender did not make the benefits I would receive of what they were presenting absolutely clear. I was therefore not sold.

But people aren’t motivated by selfishness, are they?

Some of you may be getting hot under the collar at what appears to be my support of outright selfishness, lack of compassion for others and perhaps a sprinkling of psychopathy.

The truth is, we’re all motivated by helping others and contributing to the world around us. Absolutely. But we are hard-wired as adult humans (as a survival mechanism built into our development as a species) to protect and nourish ourselves first. Our denial of this can lead to us restricting ourselves and moving ahead.

Being aware of how your user will benefit is the opposite of selfish anyway. You need to care for your audience and those you are moving. This is a form of compassion.

So back to benefits. If you want to move someone, you need to first play to their self-interest. Benefits do this.

If you can make it obvious as to how someone will directly benefit from what it is you are offering them, whether through making them more successful, happier, time rich, or more in touch with others, you will inspire action in others, and you will succeed.

But first, you need a product that actually provides real benefits to particular people. That’s for another post.

What if the benefits aren’t obvious?

Benefits are more obvious in some products or services than others.

For example, if you are a model, the benefits you provide will be clear depending on your ‘look’ and what it is that the agent requires of you – in which case, there is less to be done in driving the benefits for the end user (fashion marketers) on your side beyond crafting your own ‘look’.

The same goes for fine artists or musicians, for whom the product will speak for itself in terms of the benefits one derives from them. Of course, this depends on the product itself and how in alignment it is with the target prospect.

In other cases, where benefits are less obvious, such as a consultant or social media manager, you will need to determine what your benefits are, and make them clear for the end user (companies requiring social media presence, for example).

In any instance, however, always be thinking about the self-interest of whoever it is you directly intend to influence. This will depend on the specific situation you are in, and will guide a lot of how you do things.

The main Red Lemon Club benefit? We provide the insight you need that will help you land quality clients and customers, more often.

How are your products and services benefitting people?

Do join in, comment, and share.



  1. Fantastic article! I think that so many people don’t realise this, especially in the first stages, which leads them to get less out of their business. Owning a business requires a lot of skills, and persuasion is one of them.
    Once again, thank you for these articles; they are truly the best.

  2. I always enjoy reading your newsletters. It helps me think about how I will approach offering up my products and services to potential buyers and clients in the near future.

  3. A vital message for so many businesses which often gets forgotten! Back in the days when we did a print-based catalogue and newsletter we once replaced product titles with benefits to great success – we even had people using the benefit as the product name on the order form when placing their orders.
    Now we’re trying this again with our in-stream pictures and profile images on social media – so Opus Creator is currently “Replace Flash with HTML5” but that’s a more delicate balance as the image needs to be engaging too and I’m not sure we’ve cracked that yet 🙂

  4. Ok, so in the case of illustrating for addorable little kids, who is the end user? Is I the A.D.? Is it the parents? Or is it the child? What self-interest does a child have that I should be catering to??

    • Great question Stathis. In this case, the product itself must obviously interest the children, who are the end user, yes. But when it comes to pitching it, how you do so depends on who you are pitching to, which could be the A.D or parent if you are self-publishing for example.

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