When you are in front of a prospect do you talk endlessly about your product or service? Do you sell features or benefits? Do you know the difference? All too often salespeople think features are key. Of course, it’s because that’s what they’ve been shown. ‘Look at all the bells, whistles, and gadgets!’ It’s as if the more gadgets, the more valuable the product or service. Well, that’s only true if your prospect NEEDS all those things.
Have you ever been shopping for something where the salesperson keeps telling you about all the features, yet never once asks you what you need? Or they ask you what you need but go ahead and tell you everything else? Is that how you sell? Do you think that if you don’t tell them EVERYTHING, you’ll miss out on the one thing your prospect is looking for?
Stop talking. Stop thinking. And please, stop selling. Your prospect doesn’t want to listen to you ramble on about things they don’t care about.
This is one of the topics I cover in Lemonade Stand Selling. It is such an important part of the sales process and one that people miss all the time. They believe that they are supposed to tell the prospect everything about their goods. They don’t realize that sales is about matching a solution to a need. So what can you do differently to make the sale?
Ask a few questions, listen, and then address only what you hear. Let’s explore this process.
Ask a few questions. And I mean a few. Examples are: -What are you looking for the product to do? What do you need or want to accomplish with this product? What matters most to you? (Here you can offer some suggestions – price, volume, speed, reliability . . .) With these questions, you are trying to get the prospect to tell you exactly what they want/need. You can also ask if they will need certain functionality that you know the product or service offers. Be careful to continue to ask and listen here – don’t explain or sell.
Listen. Listen to the answers. This is where you’ll find out which features solve your prospect’s problem; which features meet their needs. Their answers may lead to more qualifying questions. Go ahead and ask them and then LISTEN. You are working to discover which features you should share with your prospect.
Address what you heard. Now that you’ve heard what your prospect needs, you can show them how specific features will benefit them. You have a well-rounded idea of what they are looking for so you can tailor a solution specifically for them. You won’t regale (translated to: bore) them with features that don’t matter to them.
When you use this process you will accomplish a couple of things. The first is that you will be showing your prospect that they matter to you. People not only like to be listened to – they like to be heard. They want to know that you find it important to discover what they truly need or want. The second thing you’ll accomplish is that you’ll have a very good understanding of what they need. This will give you the ability to really answer their concerns with your product or service. Your solution will be powerful because it will address the prospect’s concerns – not what you think they should know. This is where the features come in. You present them as benefits – how they help your prospect based on what he/she said.
Remember, it’s not about you telling your prospect all the features of your product or service. What matters is that you show them the benefit TO THEM of the features that can help them solve their problem; the problem you discovered when you asked them questions. So you see there is a connection between features and benefits – when you use them the right way.
Want to learn more about how to grow your business more effectively. Check out Lemonade Stand Selling on Facebook – www.facebook.com/SeizeThisDayCoaching. A donation to the Linda Trivisonno Endowment Fund for the Ireland Cancer Center is made from every book sale.