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Several years ago I met Davis, an executive in Ohio, who segmented his product lines into “Bought, not Sold” and “Sold, not Bought.”
“Bought” products, he said, were familiar to the buyers. They had self-diagnosed what they needed and self-prescribed a product solution for that need. Often, they’d previously purchased a product in the category.
By contrast, a “Sold” product presented an unfamiliar solution—so the prospect couldn’t self-prescribe, and may not have self-diagnosed. In fact, their needs might be latent and wouldn’t be recognized without prompting.
The implicit questions to be answered for prospective buyers are the biggest difference between the two situations.
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