Salespeople often get a bad rap. There are many jokes about salespeople, but by far, this one could be the most hurtful:
How can you tell when a salesperson is lying?
Their lips are moving.
Sadly, many prospects and customers can see the truth behind the joke. As a result, there is usually a significant amount of fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the customer's mind—the sales process stalls when a customer doesn't trust their salesperson. One sure way to distance yourself from this joke and build trust is to focus on actual benefits. Prospects and customers buy what your products and services do for them, not what they are. Most salespeople tend to focus on features. Features are distinctive attributes or aspects of a product or service. Most salespeople can explain all the features of their products and services in detail. Good salespeople tie a feature into an advantage, a performance difference relative to others based on the feature. The best salespeople learn what the feature does to help the prospect or customer fulfill their needs and wants. Customers buy benefits. Successful salespeople ask prospects and customers questions to understand the specific benefit the customer is buying. They spend more time asking questions than they do making statements.
For example, a customer is looking to buy a drill. Most salespeople focus on the features of the drill. It is cordless, has a long battery life, a keyless chuck, variable speed, etc. But what is the prospect buying? A hole. Successful salespeople ask about the hole. Why do you need a hole? How many do you need? Where are you putting them? How long will this take? How have you done this in the past? These questions help uncover the benefits of your products and services for your prospects and customers and reduce their fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
Try this exercise, and you will be better able to sell benefits. List all the features of what you sell. For each feature, list all the possible benefits the feature provides. Write questions you can ask your prospect or customer to determine if they care about that benefit. Develop follow-up questions to determine how much it matters to the customer and whether they will likely change their actions to acquire the benefit. Remember, just because you know why your product or service will improve your prospect or customer's life doesn't mean they do! So join us for our Selling Benefits workshops for more ideas to help you sell benefits.