Sell The Dream, Not The Bed: Why your features don't matter

Abby J. Wilson
3 minute read

It’s October 2016. Winter is Coming.

Me being someone who HATES the cold (anything under 40 degrees is unacceptable) I have two options. I either suck it up for another winter and continue to take 2 buses to work. Or I buy a car. Guess which one I chose.

But let me be clear. I didn’t just buy a car. I bought an escape from the cold and I bought my time back. Anyone who’s been on public transportation knows that your schedule is at the mercy of the greater transportation system. I wasted a lot of time standing at the Y3 bus stop a block from my house, staring down the street, praying to God I would see that stupid bus come around the bend. 

Your customers do the same. They buy an outcome - a better version of themselves.

Sell The Dream, Not The Bed 

Too many businesses focus on the service they sell instead of the outcome. Nobody really cares about how many warehouses you have, what locations you’re at, or your customer service team. You would think so but let’s face it. We’re selfish creatures. We care about ourselves and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

So sell what your features DO for people. If your company is out here changing lives, broadcast exactly how. Take for example Active Campaign. They have sales automation but why should you care? It helps you sell more, that’s why. And only after talking about the benefits do they bring up  features.  

Never make your customer try to guess what life's like with your service.

Pitch the dream until the dream comes true

You basically have two options. Sell the dream. Or sell the bed. 

Picture this. You walk into a mattress store near you. It’s pretty bare bones - a bunch of mattresses laid out for you to lay on, fluorescent lights, pictures of sleeping strangers on the wall. 

A saleslady walks up to you, smiles, and says , “Welcome to ‘Beds For Sleeping’! Our mattresses have pressure relief, motion cancellation, and are filled with our patented organic, eco-friendly, cooling foam that absorbs your body heat."

Yeah, me too.

But what if the same woman selling the same mattress says this instead. “It’s literally like sleeping on air. Everyone hates waking up feeling like they just fell asleep 2 minutes ago. But with our mattress, you wake up feeling like you slept 8 hours even if you only slept 6. You nail that 8AM job interview and get the job you’ve always wanted because you’re well-rested, focused, and full of energy.”  

If you’re looking for concrete outcome-based selling methods that will boost sales for your company, send me an email at I’d love to work with you.

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