Every time I run a session, whether with sales managers and CEOs or with salespeople, I ask the question: What do people buy…benefits or features? Without exception, there is a pause and then the word benefits sneaks out. (Like they are not sure) YES! Benefits are what people buy! I don’t want your product! I don’t care to own your service! I simply want the benefit of what owning it does for me!
An overused example: All of us who own a power drill do not care to own the drill. At one point in our past, we simply wanted a HOLE! The hole is the benefit that the drill provides.
So it is with our products and services. The things that are important to you about your product or service are typically not what is important to your customers.
I perform the following exercise in many of my sessions: Grab a blank piece of paper and very quickly write down the three main BENEFITS of doing business with your company.
Did you do it? If you did (and you are like most of those who go through this exercise), you probably have some of the following words or phrases on the page in front of you:
Quality, Service, Reliability, Trust, Dedicated Staff, Technology, Local, People, Knowledge, Track Record, Me, Relationships, Blah, Blah, Blah…
You see, EVERYONE says the same stuff all of the time! We go into the marketplace and tout the benefits of quality, service, and reliability (the holy tri-fecta of sales). Our competition is saying the same things. We all sound too similar. We all sound like we attended the same school of sales. We are all putting ourselves into the same box.
STOP IT! Start telling the customer what these words or phrases (FEATURES) translate to in the form of benefits for them! What does “service” translate into for them? What BENEFIT do I get because of your products quality? The answers to these questions will bring the customer closer to the reason that they will but from you.
Here’s a quick tip to help: Follow up each of your feature statements with this sentence:
So……what that (the feature) means to YOU is this: ________________________.
There are only a handful of benefits that your customer seeks. What main benefits do you feel that your product or service provides for your customer? Is it Peace of Mind? Is it Greater Profitability? Is it Ease of Use? Is it Looking Good or Status? Is it to Dominate the Competition?
What is it that owning your product allows me to have that I do not have currently? If you can answer this and speak to this in your efforts to sell to me, I will not only go out of my way to own your product, I will pay a premium as well!