#37: Sales – Part 2

Last week we looked at the first of two articles on sales, looking at how a ‘Salesperson’ is generally perceived and what I consider to be the three main attributes of a successful salesperson.

This week we are going to take a look at some of the things that can happen in sales meetings. Firstly, features and benefits.

You really need to appreciate the difference. A feature is what something does; a benefit is what it does for the client. The danger is that people tend to focus in client meetings about the features but not benefits, which reduces the number of sales they can get because it is the thing that is of least interest to the client but quite often the most interest to the seller.

If you have devised a funky piece of software, you want to tell everyone about it, but the client really does not care; they want to know what it does for them in their world.

When I did my sales training they had me selling a car. From memory I had to make the point that it was fitted with halogen headlamps (feature), which meant that it was safer to drive in the dark, (benefit).

Bearing in mind if it is a consumer sale the benefit does not have to be a financial one and, in this case, it was safety. I was paired up with the sales trainer who said he was an old man who did not drive at night; so I sold him a benefit that was completely irrelevant to him! But the point was made. If you then apply this to a business to business sale – you can begin to see how it works.

Imagine that you have just been appointed the UK head of sales for a company selling “hands-free” phone kits and you are calling on the manager of a big call centre. You demonstrate the hands-free kit and say that this means that the operatives in the call centre can work completely hands-free, and therefore complete more transactions per day, which means more money for the business. The key words are “which means” as they link the feature to the benefit.

They work every time. You have to talk about the features otherwise you can’t have a conversation, but you have to link why that is of benefit to the client. If you think about it, if you are not saying, “which means,” the client is thinking “so what”? It gets you from features to benefits. Trust it as a technique and it works.

Next time we will continue to look at sales, as lets face it they’re a big part of your business, but will concentrate on the Sales Pipeline. We have covered this before in a previous article, but I want to move back to this and go through it in more detail. It is very important!

Don’t forget you can always contact me if you would like any more advice or have any questions, I’m always happy to help.

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