Discussing facts and features is unfortunately, if you’re like most salespeople, where you’ll say the wrong things! Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
If your company is like most companies, your training, if any, will have been almost exclusively product oriented. Fact after fact after fact. If you look at almost any company’s literature, it is composed almost entirely of facts, features, and marketing fluff. Much of the material in many company’s brochures, product bulletins, literature, and data sheets is full of sound and fury signifying nothing. So why is this so bad? Because your prospects don’t buy facts and features.
Your customers buy the product of the product. And what is the product of the product? It’s benefits! People don’t buy something for what it is; they buy it for what it does and more specifically, what it will do for them.
One way to make sure you’re giving your prospect meaty benefits is to make sure your presentation passes the “so what” test. Whenever you give a fact or feature to your prospect, make sure you answer the burning question, “So what?” and then include the benefit.
You will have less trouble doing that if you get into the habit of building a verbal bridge between the fact/feature and the benefit.
A verbal bridge is a phrase such as:
- which means
- which allows you to
- so that you can
- as a result
- giving you
- so what you’ll see is
- and what you’ll immediately experience.
Simply put, a bridge is any logical phrase that allows you to link a fact/feature with a product-related benefit.
Remember, everyone listens to radio station…WIFM-FM.
Remember: Facts and features just tell. It’s benefits that sell.
Because almost all of your sales literature is probably devoid of any real benefit statements, it becomes up to you to develop your own. Here’s the process:
1. Take a sheet of paper and divide it into two columns or create a document with two columns. Head the left column “Facts/Features” and the right column “Benefits.”
2. Now in the left column list all the facts and features for a particular product you sell.
3. When your is list done, go back and look at your first fact/feature and ask the question, “So what?” and write the answer to that question in the Benefits column beside the relevant fact/feature.
4. Before leaving that first fact/feature, ask the question again and again until you’ve exhausted the “So whats” and can’t find any more benefits to add to the list.
5. Then repeat the process for each of your other ones. Hopefully each of your facts/features will spawn more than one benefit.
Here is another way to add to your benefit list. Go back over each of your benefits and ask our infamous question, “So what?” to each of your benefits and see what additional benefits develop. The key is that the new benefit must be able to stand alone with the original fact/feature and not be dependent on the benefit from which it was derived.
Improving your ability to sell benefits will improve your sales performance and results.
For more information on sales training and coaching, please refer to The Right Skills.
Salesforce Training & Consulting is a professional sales training firm and registered Salesforce.com Consulting Partner based in Toronto, with offices in Boston and Chicago, providing sales coaching, sales management consulting, salesforce implementation, sales training and sales personnel assessments.