One of the most common mistakes found in the world of selling is that people focus too much on their product or service. It’s important to learn how to sell on benefits to the customer. You can do this by showing how their business will improve when they buy your solution.
There are four fundamental benefits:
- Save time
- Increase profits
- Reduce costs
- Reduce worry (by improving image, safety etc.)
This technique is to take the buyer from the features they understand, through the advantages those features provide, to the benefits they will enjoy.
#1 lesson on how to sell: features can be boring
Features are one of the easier things to identify. They are facts or characteristics about your organization, products, and services. Reeling off a list of features is an easy thing for a sales person, but buyers tend not to connect the features to their own problem. They can’t necessarily work out the benefits for themselves.
#2 lesson on how to sell: advantages don’t always relate to this buyer
To help them, you can convert them into advantages. Advantages are what the features do. These tend to be factual, but they are not connected to your customer’s need. Now customers can see how the features are useful, but still may not feel they relate to themselves.
#3 lesson on how to sell: show what’s in it for them
Benefits answer why someone should value the advantage. It connects the facts about your product to a solution for your client. Converting the advantages into benefits shows their buyer exactly how this solution will help them personally.
Benefits are always derived from the buyer, not your product or service. It is only a benefit because the buyer has said it’s important. This is why you need to identify the benefits your customers are looking for, early on in the sales process.
You need to include features and advantages with the benefits, otherwise their buyer will think the product is too good to be true. They need the evidence behind the benefit to make it believable.
Selling a ball-point pen is a great example:
An easy way to get to the benefit is to keep asking, “What’s in it for your customer?” until you get to one of the benefits. For example, “Because of this feature, you can do this, so you will feel this”
Statement 1: Our pen has a clear barrel
Statement 2: Our pen has a clear barrel, so you can always make sure you have enough ink
Statement 3: Our pen has a clear barrel, so you can always make sure you have enough ink, and you never need to worry about finishing that urgent letter or signing that last-minute contract.
Statement 3 is the best sell, but only if you buyer is worried about finishing letters and signing contracts. You have to listen to their buyer to find out the particular benefits that they are looking for.
The advanced style is to flip the benefit to the beginning;
“Ever worry about finishing that urgent letter or signing that last-minute contract? If you could always see how much ink you had left, that would never be a problem. A good reason to purchase this pen, with it’s clear barrel.”
Remember, if the customer is not worried about running out of ink, this will go nowhere. Try to identify the benefits that are particular to them, and then use Advantages and Features to show how we offer them.
As usual, it’s all about listening to the customer.