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The F Test: How to sell what your customer is buying

We all see life differently. We have opinions and preconceptions that shape how we see things. There is no such thing as fact. What is true for you is true.  And what is true for someone else is true for them. But when you're trying to market something, and you see the world differently than your ideal client, there is no way you will be able to communicate with them until you see life from their eyes. 

This test will show you how to understand what your buyer is buying and how to align yourself with them to ultimately help them solve their problem. 




The Ftest Video


Welcome to the F Test. Today we’re going to take a little test called The F Test that is going to help you make sure you are selling what people are buying. You don’t even need a piece of paper for this one. On the next slide there is going to be a sentence written out. I want you to count the number of F’s in the sentence. Then I want you to check again to make sure you counted correctly.  Then I want you to write down your number and don’t change it (even though this is virtual and I wouldn’t know).  And this is not a trick question.  Here’s the sentence:







When we do this in a group setting we get to see all the different answers that people get.  How many F’s did you count? And I’m not going to assume what you answered, but I’ve gotten answers anywhere from 0 to 20.  0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 then it usually skips a few and we start getting 20’s.  How could this be? How do you know your answer is right? How could different people have counted a different number of F’s in the same exact sentence? Do you think you have the right answer? How sure are you? Are you willing to be on it?


Here’s the take-away. This was a Perception Test. What I want you to know is, just like all the people that took this test have different answers to how many F’s are in the sentence, every client has a different answer as well and they’re going to bet on it, too. One person might bet on 4, one person might bet on 6.


Why is that important? If you’re selling to a customer you need to meet them where they are, not where you think they should. In other words, if the customer feels there are 4 F’s in the sentence, you need to sell them from their perspective of number 4. If you believe there are 6 F’s and you are selling from the perspective that there are six F’s, you can not sell to someone who believes there are 4. Because both of you are willing to bet that you know how many F’s are in this sentence.  


Ultimately, people’s perception is their reality.  Just because you counted two different numbers, does not mean you’re right and they’re wrong. Whatever you perceive in this world becomes your reality and becomes true for you. The same is true for your clients. Whatever they’ve perceived in this world becomes their reality and is, therefore, their truth.


So, what is the right answer? It doesn’t actually matter what the right answer is.  The only answer that matters is what your ideal client thinks the right answer is.  Being right doesn’t help the customer solve their problem.  


I’ll give you an example.  Let’s say you’re selling cars. And you believe the best feature of your car is that it has a certain horsepower. And your client believes the best feature is that it comes in the fuschia the other dealers don’t offer. But when you’re taking this person around, you keep mentioning all these features about how great the horsepower is, and how great the engine is and how low the maintenance is. And all the customer really cares about is, does it come in the particular shade of fuschia she wanted? So, that’s the case of someone seeing it in a different reality than you.  How could the only thing you care about in a car is the color? How could that possible matter to you? Don’t you care about the engine? (In your head your head you might be saying this) But if you’re selling something the customer’s not interested in buying, you’re not going to make the sale. So being “right” doesn’t help the customer solve their problem.  The customer wanted a pink car and you’re selling a car with a great engine.  


You need to know what your client’s number is and be able to see it from her perspective.  Doing the Ideal Customer, or Character Study, exercise will help you understand their perspective so you can sell them what they want to buy.


This has been the F Test brought to you by the Virtual Sales Academy by JPM Sales Partners.  Alright, see you in the next lesson.


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