January 06, 2006
Controversy over Features and Benefits
Situation: Billy Bob was assigned a learning exercise to read Dave Kurlan's new book "Baseline Selling." Upon reviewing the six sales methodologies Bill Bob became very confused wrestling over the concept that features and benefit selling was at a disadvantage when compared with solution type selling. For instance Billy Bob had always been taught to know everything about the product so that he could present properly and earn the prospects respect by being able to handle any objection that may arise. Upon reading the book he was curious how he was going to get the prospect or existing clients to share emotional issues, get serious commitments, while elaborating about what will happen if they cannot fix the problem.
Problem: Billy Bob like so many sales people today had been measured by activity and pressure to get the sale so that the monthly sales number can be reached no matter what. Many of his previous sales manager's had done such an effective job of drumming the " tell our story", " persuade them we are the right company for them" and just "get the order mantra", that he was fearful to carry on a meaningful dialogue with his prospect for fear of missing the end of month numbers. This resulted in what folks call premature presentation or information dumps where he would present early and often all the great things his product could do. May Sue his new sales leader shared with Billy Bob that features, and their associated benefits are meaningless to the prospect unless they have a problem that the features addresses. The problem (pain) or gain must be discovered and articulated by the prospect or the feature and benefit can be viewed as one other thing that will just run up the price.
Solution: May Sue outlined a way that Billy Bob could incorporate what he knows about the product into a solution/consultative selling model by suggesting he take some time to really understand what his product and or service solves. Once you have a clear picture of what your product or service solves use that as bait to uncover what hidden emotional reasons the buyer may use as motivation to purchase. Use this picture of the problem as the starting point of your discovery shaft. At this starting point of your discovery shaft think about how wonderful it would be if you could paint a picture about how your new _______________fixes the ___________hassle, about how your unique ____________ helps the prospect do_________, and why your _________was developed to overcome the __________issue that most clients face. Billy Bob was instructed to learn how to ask meaningful problem related type questions. As a result the prospect will enter into a meaningful conversation allowing him to uncover their true motivation to purchase. Once this true motivation to purchase is uncovered you can set up a customized and targeted presentation and or proposal just for them.
Here is an example of using the feature of on going reinforcement
as a way to flush out the buyer's true motivation to buy. "On going
reinforced training" solves the frustration many companies incur
when spending lots of money on one or two day training events that have
no lasting impact. Some people have labeled this one to two day training
suntan training because it gives a nice glow for a few days' buts fads
very quickly. Now formulate the bait type question from this picture:
" Have you every been concerned about spending lots of money sending
people to a one to two day seminars, only to determine little or no lasting
change in their results over time? Or if your prefer use a bit of Judo
in your question with a bit of the negative and ask Don't suppose you
guys have had any issues around spending lots of money sending people
to a one to two day seminar, only to determine little or no lasting change
in results over time? If the answer is positive, then one would probe
much deeper to uncover the emotional pain and the impact this was causing
for the individual, team and or organization. From there you could discuss
the cost of that consequence in three dimensions and whether they were
predisposed and committed at this time to solve that issue. Having gathered
all that significant and powerful emotional reason to purchase you now
refer to their concerns and the cost derived from the failure of this
sun tan training to bring about lasting and meaningful change in your
presentation or proposal. The beauty of using the discovery shaft is that
when you propose a solution it will be their solution to their problem
not your guess as to what they need
Remember to get good at this
you must master the 21
selling competencies specifically review those around style and bravery.
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