The Science of Selling Products People Want to Buy

Felix Cerny
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One of the key questions in business is how to come up with products people want to buy.

And that’s no wonder. Which company can really afford to put lots of time, money and energy into developing and promoting a new product that nobody wants? No one can, which is why businesses want to understand buyer psychology.

But before we get into the nitty-gritty of the science, let’s take a closer look at what makes people buy at all.

Why People Buy What They Buy

Well, I bet you think that this is quite obvious. Some people think, “People buy products that they need and solve a problem for them.”

As this might be true in general, there’s more to the whole story. Here are some examples.

People buy products that:

  • Make them look better

  • Make them feel better

  • Make their life easier

  • Make other people envy them

  • Cure their disease

  • Make them feel superior

You see, it is a lot about how you feel than only what the product does for you.

But how can you take advantage of this insight?

Harness Mass Desire to Create Products People Want to Buy

If you want to sell products people want to buy on a large scale, you have to care about one thing: mass desire. Ignore it and your product is very likely to fail.

Legendary copywriter Eugen Schwartz talks about this in his best-selling book Breakthrough Advertising. He said, “You can’t create mass desire. You can only channel it onto your product.”

There’s only one problem. Let me tell you a story to show you what can happen if you go against mass desire.

In the late 1950s, the car market changed. People now desired more affordable economy automobiles. Car manufacturers started to produce automobiles like the Volkswagen Beetle.

That’s when Ford introduced its luxurious and expensive Edsel. Equipped with a powerful engine, this gas guzzler was the total opposite of what people wanted.

The Edsel failed miserably. Ford lost $350 million and soon withdrew the Edsel from the market.

Don’t Be a Pioneer

A wise man once said, ”Don’t aim to be a pioneer. Pioneers are the ones with the arrows in their backs.”

Still, so many people believe you have to invent the next best thing to sell products people want to buy. Be smarter and look out for what’s already working in the marketplace.

Instead of being the inventor who has to clear the field, be the fast follower who scoops up the educated market.

In fact, a paper by Peter N. Golder and Gerard J. Tellis showed that if you act as a fast follower you chances to fail are only 8%. Those who entered the market first only succeeded 53% of the time.

Let’s face it: When everybody’s trying to invent the next iPhone, you could take what’s proven to sell and make a fortune.

That idea is good, if only you knew what products people want to buy.

How to Discover What Sells Like Crazy

The great copywriter and direct response marketer Gary Halbert had one credo: “You have to become a student of the market."

What most marketers get wrong is they create a product first and then try to find a market they can sell to. In other words, they put the cart before the horse.

Gary’s first step was always to study the market before even thinking of a product.

For example, he kept an eye on ads published over and over again. Ads cost a lot of money and a company will only keep on buying advertising space if they make more out of it than they put into it. Hence, the product had to sell.

Compared to the old direct response mailing days, we are fortunate today. We live in a time when it’s never been easier to spot lucrative opportunities and take advantage of them.

Let’s look at two effective ways to find products people want to buy.

1. Facebook Ads

With 2.50 billion monthly users, Facebook is still the most-crowded social media platform. That means, if you are in business and don’t market on Facebook, you basically have no business.

You see, what used to be advertised in magazines is now advertised on Facebook.

Here’s what you can do: deactivate your ad blocker. Notice ads that are shown to you over and over again have a lot of engagement in terms of views and comments.

You can be pretty sure that this is a product that sells pretty well.

2. Amazon Reviews is THE online marketplace and a huge resource for precious insights you can use and turn into revenue.

To find your next winning product, you should take these two steps.

Step #1: Check Out Amazon Best Sellers

You want to look for products that are already selling well. Amazon has a wonderful source you can use as a marketer and that’s the Amazon Bestsellers List.

This list gives you a fast overview of products that people buy within your niche.

Step #2: Watch Out for Customer Reviews

The number of reviews indicates how often that product has been sold.

Roughly, every 100 to 200 sales result in a review. So, if you take a product that has 3,000 reviews on Amazon, probably around 600,000 people have bought that item.

That’s promising, but you still need more information.

Embrace Competition

If you are a savvy business person, would you consider competition to be a bad thing? It's not. Competition is good. Learn to love it.

Competition only means there is a high demand in the market. It also ensures that all the heavy lifting of educating the market has already been done by someone else.

Shy away from markets that have no or few competitors. It’s a strong signal that simply no one wants to buy this product.

How to Spot Healthy Competition

Let’s say you own an eCommerce store for pet supplies and want to add one or two products to your portfolio. After completing your research on Facebook and Amazon you find out that there is a high demand for dog training collars.

When you search that item on Amazon, you see that there are five different products with more than 5,000 reviews, and a lot more with at least 1,000 reviews.

That looks very good. These are products people want to buy.

But here’s your next question: How can you survive in the jungle?

Time to Get Competitive

Focus on the top 5 competitors.

Don’t waste too much time studying their products. Shift your attention to the most important group, the buying customers.

You want to know what they think and feel about the product. Ask questions like:

  • What do they like about the product?

  • What don’t they like?

  • What do they complain about?

  • What do they use it for and how?

  • Do they think it’s too small? Or too big?

  • Would they rather have it in pink? Or grey?

Get as much information as possible. It will help you with your next crucial move.

Strive for Uniqueness

Do you want a shortcut to success in selling products people want to buy?

There are two vital questions, that—depending on your answers—will make or break your success.

Ready? Here they are.

  1. Why should people buy the product?

  2. And why should they buy it from you?

If you can come up with a convincing answer, you can sit back, relax and watch the money keep rolling in.

Well, I guess we’ve already answered the first question and by now you should have a very clear idea of how you can find a winning product.

But how do you get them to buy from you and not your competitors?

Your Customer Is the Market Genius

Go back to Amazon and simply “ask” the buying customers.

Check out the 3 and 4-star reviews. You’ll find out what customers liked about the product and what can be optimized. Take those golden nuggets to discover a unique benefit and close the gap.

Once you’ve got that potential best-seller product, equipped with unique benefits, you’ll be well on your way.

Actually, you’re almost done. What’s left is a compelling way to deliver your message.

Copywrite Your Way to Success

I have good news and bad news for you.

The good news is that, if you’ve followed the instructions so far, chances are you now have a product that has the potential to rock your business.

The bad news is, even the best product in the world will end up as a shelf warmer if your product marketing sucks.

And what’s one fundamental element of marketing? It's copywriting.

The copy you use along with your marketing tools can make or break your product’s success. No wonder great copywriters get paid up to $50,000 just for one sales letter or sales page.

Now, you might be wondering, “Why is copy so critical?”

People Are Jaded

You see, business is tough these days. There are millions of products out there with blunt claims people heard over and over again. And they don’t believe them anymore.

  • The magic pill that melts down ten pounds of fat from your hips.

  • The get-rich-quick scheme that automatically overfloods your bank account with money.

It has become harder and harder to make believable claims and persuade people to buy.

The challenge here is to convey your product’s unique benefit in a way that makes people believe there’s no other way but to buy your product.

You have to enter the conversation in their head. And by describing their problem even better than they can, they automatically assume you have the solution for them.

That’s the way to turn them from interested prospects into buying customers. And that’s where a professional copywriter excels.


Selling products people want to buy is indeed a science.

There are two powerful ways to find products that are highly in demand:

  • Facebook ads that are displayed repeatedly over a long period of time and have lots of engagement.

  • Products sold on Amazon with a high rate of customer reviews and a healthy competition.

Marketing such a winning product with an additional unique benefit will further set yourself up for success.

Eventually, and to make sure your product turns into a bestseller, you have to support all marketing efforts with killer copy.

If you need help with writing a persuasive copy that converts, then hire a dedicated copywriter today. We’d be happy to help you succeed.

Felix Cerny

Felix is a passionate copywriter and a marketing enthusiast. He always strives for writing compelling copy injected with a sense of creativity. His strong background in sales and closing gives him an edge when it comes to converting prospects into loyal clients. In his spare time you can find him spending time with his kids, working out at his favourite gym, or writing songs for his rock band.

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