BY DOUG ROOKER, PURCHASING POWER’S VP OF SALES
This may sound like common sense…get to know the service or product you sell, isolating how it helps people. Only in this way can you apply your knowledge to your prospect’s need.
In selling 101, salespeople know that they should outline product features: those constant, intrinsic elements the items or service prevents. Someone selling a cardboard box might call attention to the fact that it’s cube, and that it holds a certain amount of material.
A fountain pen, in the same manner, can be said to have a point, or to write with ink. A notebook might be described as being rectangular and having blank pages.
All true. And, to no one’s surprise, all very boring.
Features are what are essential in selling. I can tell you that no one wants to buy a fountain pen that does not have a point – but features are not usually the first thing on the prospect’s mind. Often, the prospect will be concerned with a different idea entirely: benefits. And this, too, must be emphasized by the salesperson.
What about the products or services you sell? What benefits can you isolate? What tangible advantages do your customers have over the customers of competitors?
Once you begin to see things from this perspective, the potential customer’s perspective, you will be able to start assembling the key selling points of your product or service. It is a common mistake to concentrate instead on features, and subject the prospect to a barrage of confusing, sometimes technical information of limited interest.
Think about how you approach buying something. Your main concern is not how the refrigerator or car was assembled in the first place, but rather how the whole configuration will help you get the ice when you need it, or achieve really good gas mileage.
If you, as the salesperson, focus on the goals of your prospects, you will be able to communicate essential facts about your services and products. Consider using the products or services you sell as a customer. Research them thoroughly from the prospect’s point of view; isolate benefits. Then you will be able to make crystal clear the advantages your prospect will have by choosing you!