One of the lessons I've learned in 41 years of sales and marketing is that I don't always know the real reasons that people buy something.

Here's a good example:

Many years ago I sold a motivational seminar.


I thought that what I was selling was increased performance and higher productivity.

So I would encourage businesses to send along poor performing staff to this seminar so they could improve their productivity.

However one of my clients told me something that took me by surprise when I asked him why he had booked some of his people on this motivational seminar.

He said "Graham, I've sent at least a dozen of my top performers to your motivational seminar. Not because I wanted them to perform better. But because I wanted a way to say thank you to them for doing such great work already."

In other words he was buying a way to reward and show appreciation to some of his best people.

Which was quite different from what I thought I was selling.

I then started asking every business person I met with if they would like a fun way to show appreciation to their top performers.

And doing this quickly opened up a whole new market for my motivational seminars.


I was thinking about this client recently and it reminded me that we don't always know the real reasons that some of our clients buy or the real benefits they are actually looking for when they buy.

However when we do know what clients are really buying it can often boost our sales fast.

Here's another example:

Many years ago there was a large company that sold baking soda. They noticed their sales were going down as less and less people were doing home baking.

So they asked their customers what other uses they had found for their baking soda.

To their surprise they had their customers tell them dozens of interesting ways they used baking soda.

From a fridge deodorant to remove bad smells to something they added to their washing to make their clothes look and smell brighter and fresher.


The baking soda company then made the decision to offer a whole new range of products that had baking soda in them and went on to make millions of dollars in new sales.

Here's one final example:

I sold investment property many years ago and most clients bought a property as a way of creating a healthy nest egg for themselves when they retired.

However a small number of people bought investment property for a totally different reason.

They wanted to do something special for their children or grandchildren.

So they used investment property as a way to create a lasting legacy for the important people in their lives.

That discovery led me to a whole new market for investment property.



There are many benefits that people can gain by buying what you sell.

And it can be very helpful to find out what these are.

That way you'll know that you are selling what your clients are really buying.

"A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason." - J. P. Morgan

Action Exercise:

Ask five of your clients to explain the benefits they've gained from buying form you and why they would highly recommend your business to other people.

You might be very surprised at what you learn.


- Graham McGregor is a Marketing Advisor and helps businesses who offer an expensive service to quickly attract ideal new clients. You can download his brand new 106 page marketing guide The Expensive Service Marketing Solution at no charge from