Philosophy of Selling
Often customers don’t know they are in need. If the prospect is living with a deficiency, it’s incumbent upon the sales person to uncover the source of the pain and provide the solution.
Prospects often don’t understand how much better or easier their life would be if they made the adjustment the sales person is selling. In some cases they don’t truly believe that a sales person has the solution. Or they may feel the sales person doesn’t have their best interest at heart. This is why sales should be a conversation. Selling is not talking at people or telling them all the wonderful things a sales person has to offer. You don’t have sales unless you move a client or customer from point A to point B or C. It’s getting people to understand what the product or service will do for them personally and professionally and getting them to take action.
All steps in the sales process are important from rapport building through closing or asking for the business. The most important step is getting prospects to believe and trust that the product or service will satisfy their needs or solve their problems. If a sales person doesn’t do this well, there is no point in asking for the business. Sells people can probe for needs but if they don’t sell the solution, they have just left the prospect hanging with the knowledge they are in pain. This belief and trust is more important than rapport building. Clients can like you but never do business with you because they don’t believe or trust in the product or service.
The benefit is specifically what the client gets when he or she take advantage of a product or service and how it will impact his or her life or business. The feature is generally what everyone gets. Most often even tenured sales people confuse the feature with the benefit. They tell the customer what the product does. They quote the marketing material and think they are selling the benefit. In reality marketing sells features. Only the sales person can marry the feature (what the product does) to the specific needs of the buyer (benefit) in a way clients understands specifically how it impacts their life and business.
It seems elementary and many sales people would swear they present the benefit but countless field observations and role play confirm that most often sales people sell the feature. Or when they do present the benefit they spend a disproportionate amount of time leading up to it. It should be just the opposite because the benefit is what moves the customer.
How often have you lost business because the sales person got stuck in rapport building and was not able to transition naturally to business?
How many sales have you lost to the competition because your sales person sold the feature as the benefit or briefly brushed by it leaving customers to wonder why they should buy?
How much business have you lost because your sales person didn’t strongly present the benefit because they didn’t have the guts to put their own skin in the game?
How much more business would you enjoy if your sales force didn’t hesitate to approach a prospect for fear or wasting their time?
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