Small Business Sales Tip: Sell the Destination, Not the Plane

Sell the Destination Not the Plane


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute


Suppose you are trying to sway your spouse, significant other or BFF to go on a vacation with you to Hawaii. Are you going to tell him how the airplane is shiny, has lots of seats and serves pretzels to you? Heck no.

You will talk about how the sun will feel on his face and the sand squishing between his toes. How at the resort, you can swim to the bar from the pool and the second your cute little drink with the umbrella gets near empty, an eager person hustles over and offers to refill it. You tell him how when he returns, he will be the person with the best tan in the entire office. Maybe you’ve heard the saying that people want to buy the destination, NOT the plane.

Many small business owners come to me for marketing help and are looking for the magic answers with regard to their product mix.  Photographers who study with me want to know if they should sell collections or individual prints? Books or albums? Canvases or framed wall portraits? THAT IS THE AIRPLANE!

Here’s a small business sales tip: If you think about selling the destination (the benefits), it will become much more simple to solve your marketing issues. It really isn’t about all of the fancy products that you sell to your clients. It is about the benefit to your clients. People want to have images of their children that give them chills when they walk by them every day. Artwork that reminds them how snuggly their kids were in footed pajamas when they were little. Or how adorable there baby was when their teeth were missing. That is the destination you need to sell your clients. What airplane you take to get them there – well that’s secondary.

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