Focus On Benefits People Want
by Angel Rodriguez
Average salespeople spend a disproportionate amount of time discussing features and advantages but not the benefits. This leaves people unsure of your offering and reluctant to commit. They say “ I’ll think about it” and leave. Subsequently they meet a Great Salesperson elsewhere who promotes relevant benefits and closes the sale. If this sounds familiar, here is how to win more customers by focusing on the benefits people want. But first, you need to know what they are.
FEATURES.…can be described as that which remains constant and available to all customers. For example the airbag in a small family car or the interest rate of a savings account.
ADVANTAGES…. can be described as what the features provide. In an accident the airbag will inflate protecting you from the steering wheel and the savings account is somewhere safe to save money. There would be considerable time required to list the lengthy number of Features and Advantages some items offer, such as a car.
BENEFITS….answer the all important question What’s In It For Me? They are the measurable outcomes of the Features that people actually buy. Airbags deploy, inflate and save lives - perhaps yours! Savings accounts earn interest and increases the bank balance - perhaps yours!
By accurately identifying your Features and Advantages you should be able to measure the strength of your Benefits. The real reason why people pay for airbags and open savings accounts are the strength of these Benefits.
So which benefit should you promote first? A common error is assuming all customers are looking for the same benefits and then randomly selecting features and advantages to promote. It is far easier to promote what people most want to buy, so it would be logical to focus on benefits people most want! Great Salespeople understand what different customers really want and structure the presentation of their F.A.B.’s to mirror these most pressing requirements. Great Salespeople hardly need to sell at all and do this every day.
Some dismiss this as an “old school” sales technique used by pushy salespeople and may misunderstand the point. Pushy salespeople are not Great Salespeople. Consumers are increasingly more educated and more demanding, leading to sophisticated sales and marketing strategies. This means successful organizations need to know the Features, Advantages and Benefits people want. Consider the persuasive television commercials or glossy magazine advertisements with this theory in mind. You will notice they wrap the F.A.B.’s around a “story”, making it more difficult to isolate them. Importantly they are there, especially the benefits!
Now ask yourself this question. Are you able to identify your F.A.B.’s accurately, and if so, are they being marketed in the most effective manner possible?