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updated wed 16 jul 03


Longtin, Jeff on tue 15 jul 03

Mel brings up a good point that I'd to pick up upon.
Typically, with most products, the marketing piece stimulates the customers
interest in the product while the salesperson "closes" the sale. Mel is
referring to the "close".

The process of a sale typically has five segments: Introduction, Rapport,
Response to Objections, Negotiation, Close.
The "art" of being a good salesperson is being prepared in advance. The
process of the sale usually involes discussion of the product so it is
always a good idea to thoroughly review the all features of your product.
Another "art" of a sale is connecting the features of your product with a
benefit to your customer, a so-called Features/Benefit list. Ideally a good
salesperson will create a list with AT LEAST three features/benefits that
they can disicuss. This way you can be prepared for most any question.

You might think knowing the features of your product are enough to sell
your product but this is not true. Discussing the features of your product
usually makes a customer aware of them so that is good, however, connecting
a feature with a benefit is what personallizes it for the customer, and
thereby helps the customer connect your work to their situation.

"My work is microwave safe", (feature) "So you can reheat your coffee at any
time" (benefit).

Typically the feature/benefits of a product are what you mention to "sell"
the customer on the product so you don't have to "Negotiate". If you don't
have a chance to bring up the features, or you don't want to, the
features/benefits list helps you respond to objections.

"I don't buy handmade pottery because my sister got sick from using some she
bought elsewhere." (Objection) "I only use lead-free glazes." (Feature) "So
you can be assured of complete safety." (Benefit)

Th reason why I bring all this up is because, in theory, if you come up with
a strong list of your products features/benefits the marketing piece/slogan
will somewhat become obvious. A good marketing piece will make purchasing
your product seem like a "no-brainer"., i.e. the features/benefits will be
so easily connected as to be obvious to the consumer.

The slogans that have popped up so far have been interesting, and somewhat
cute, but they haven't answered the question "Why do I, the consumer, need
to buy this product, or type of product." If we can come up with a good
reason why a consumer should buy our work then we might have a strong

I've worked in sales now ten years (I'm very good at "responding to
objections") oddly though I've never really applied standard sales practices
to my own work, so I thought I would throw this out almost as much for my
sake as for yours.

Take care gang,
Jeff Longtin
in sunny minneapolis,
spending his days selling legal materials to attorneys but longing to be in
the studio

-----Original Message-----
From: mel jacobson [mailto:melpots@PCLINK.COM]
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 9:39 AM
Subject: planters/imports

i buy hand made clay planters at my local
garden store for 15 bucks, nice ones...salt glazed.
really nice ones. i have not a clue
from where they come...obviously
out of country. i cannot make that
planter for 15 bucks, would not waste
my time.

these folks are not my competition, they
make simple things, and i buy it. i make
things much better than that. i am
not in the low priced, planter market.

and, i should not be.

if one competes with walmart cheap
ceramics, well, you have the wrong customers.
and, you will go broke in a heart beat.

as i have joked, i do not want `aunt charlotte`
to be my moral and aesthetic guide. i have
to take a few steps up.

educate customers about the value of your work.
i have spent my life doing that. it is called sales.
if you do not sell, you will not sell.
simple as that.

Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
web site:
or try:
new/ http://www.TICK-ATTACK.COM

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