Sales is challenging enough without us making it harder for ourselves, and yet every time I train I encounter salespeople who are missing the most important point – and earning themselves a hard time in the process. It stems from a part of our training which we have learned by *rote over the years and believe to be true even though the evidence tells us clearly it is not. You know what they say about madness? It’s the act of doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. So what are we doing?
We’re loving our products in all the wrong ways
Product knowledge is a key part of being a successful salesperson. You can’t properly sell a solution to a problem when you don’t know what your product can do. It is admirable therefore for any salesperson to have a high-level of product knowledge. The problem is in the way we use that knowledge. We assume that the prospect or customer will be excited by a long stream of features and benefits because they’ll immediately connect the dots between what your product does and what they most badly need. That thinking unfortunately, is all wrong.
A lesson you’ll make millions through learning
I am confident in saying I can increase your sales by a very big amount if you just learn this one lesson: your prospects and customers do not care about what your product does. They care about what the end result will be. A photocopier may have a million features, but the one that will mean something to the buyer is the fact that it can produce proposals so beautiful that prospects and customers will be wowed by them. A drill may be the very best in the world, but the feature that will mean the most to the buyer is the fact that it can drill through precisely the surface they need to drill through in order to hang a painting.
It’s not what it is. It’s what it does. For them
Each application of your product – and every single sale you make – will be different. Those differences may be subtle, but they are undeniable. And that means you need to be able to get to the root of their problem first. When I was younger, I believed that because my product was the best on the market and had the most up-to-date features, that would be enough to impress prospects and customers and make them want to buy. That gave me a hard time in sales until I eventually understood where I was going wrong.
You’re doing yourself the biggest favour of all time if you choose instead of loving your features and benefits to love the fact that the end result is the key selling point. What does your customer most care about? What do they worry about or desire the most? Find that and then think of how your product can help them. The chances are the majority of your features and benefits are totally besides the point.
* rote – Memorization technique based on repetition