Whether you’re selling tangible or intangible items, buyers are typically interested in how their condition will be improved as a result of acquiring what you are selling. The cliché is that no one buys a drill because they want a drill; they buy a drill because they want a hole. Similarly, no one buys a Harley-Davidson motorcycle because they are looking for a means of convenient transportation; they’re usually making some sort of personal statement.

In order for buyers to understand why they’re buying an item or service, you first need to know why you’re selling it.

Here are three questions to ask yourself and help you better understand your offering — be it a product, service or brand:

  1. What do you have, do or offer?
  2. How does it work?
  3. How is the buyer’s condition improved as a result?

You can explore your offering two ways – from macro and micro viewpoints – examining its fit, form, function and financial components. Some of these components may be more robust than others, given the nature of what you sell, and some components might overlap. In both cases, that’s fine. The idea is to create a method for which you can more completely understand your offering.

Don’t get too hung up on specificity, either, by trying to determine an exact delineation between macro and micro. Just start working through each component of your offering, and you’ll quickly discover what you know and don’t know about what you are selling.

These component categories are designed to help you and others in your organization think more deeply about what you do. This might be a challenge for some people, which is actually a good indication that they are thinking about things differently than they have in the past. Most salespeople never endure this sort of intellectual heavy lifting. If you and your staff do, however, you will come to know your offerings more completely than your competitors know theirs. And it won’t be too long before your sales numbers reflect that knowledge.