All sales training sessions include various techniques to help you sell your product/ service. But basically, when you present your product (verbally or in writing), you must, first of all, highlight its features and benefits. Paradoxically, many sales people don’t do so. Why? Because they assume that this basic information is known by the potential customers. Big mistake!
The first thing that you need to know is that successful salesmen do not assume anything.
Keep in mind that no matter how obvious they would seem, you must always present to potential clients the characteristics and the advantages of your product and help them identify the benefits related to buying that particular product.
If we are talking about a market transaction (typically used in marketing campaigns), we have to present the characteristics of a product as well as the advantages that derive from them. On the other hand, if we are talking about an advisory sale (based on identifying the needs of each individual), we present the characteristics, advantages AND benefits – deriving from the identified needs.
Let’s detail these three concepts.
• The CHARACTERISTICS of a product/ service are its physical properties that come from the way it is manufactured or defined; in the case of a service, it is about what the customer perceives directly, through the senses. Let’s think about a phone, for example. It has features like 4G, 12-megapixel camera etc. – but do you think that this is why the client wants to buy it? No. The client actually buys fast internet speed and high-quality photos – which are the advantages derived from the phone’s features.
• The ADVANTAGES actually represent the real reason of the existence of a certain feature. The questions that a customer asks in order to determine the advantages of a feature are “What does it do for me? What do I get from this product? or What’s the plus?”
• As for about the BENEFITS of a product/ service, they are different from one customer to another, being used in advisory sales, considering that they can be identified only after identifying the needs of the customers. To understand better this concept, let’s return to the phone example: like we previously said, the 4G feature of a phone brings the advantage of superior speed related to internet browsing. For some people, the derived benefits can be better speed for sending emails to the customers, while for others the benefits may translate into faster picture uploading process etc.
What is important to remember is that both the advantages and the benefits are related to the client’s needs, thus are also highly subjective. They are decided in the client’s mind as a result of his/ her concepts and interaction with the seller. Therefore, a product can be sold differently to different customers, without the truth about it being distorted.
During every basic Denver sales training course, you will be invited to do an exercise and write down the characteristics of your product, then ask yourself why each of these features are important and what the customers have to gain from them; this way, you will get a better picture of how to use each advantage and determine as many potential benefits as possible.