MYTH: When the customer sees the benefits, they will buy from you.
TRUTH: When the customer understands the benefits, they will buy from you.
“Thoughts always precede actions.”
A frequent complaint from my clients’ salespeople: “I did a feature-benefit analysis but the customer took my ideas and bought from a lower-priced competitor.”
Of course they did! Why not? You taught them the benefits of having your product or service and then they shopped for a lower-priced version. Doing a simple feature-benefit analysis is actually a part of commodity selling (selling on price) and not Value-Added Selling.
Two additional steps are needed when using a feature-benefit analysis to make a sale.
1 – The feature benefit (F-B) analysis cannot stop with just the benefits. It must extend to a F-B-S-P analysis followed by a qualified and quantified cost justification. The Benefit of the Feature must address a specific Problem this particular customer is currently facing and offer a Solution to that problem.
FEATURE – BENEFIT – SOLUTION – PROBLEM
“This Feature has the following Benefit that will provide a Solution to the Problem we have identified.”
You would uncover the problem during your needs analysis.
2 – Then, your solution must be quantified in terms that are meaningful to the specific customer. Many customers are looking for an ROI, of course; but often you can quantify the value of your product or service in other ways. For instance, can you reduce the number of man-hours your customers are spending? Can you reduce their inventory costs? Can you give them a competitive edge over their competitors? Can you do a combination of these?
Only mention the Benefits that are most relevant to the customer’s immediate need. There is no need to dazzle them with ALL of your features and benefits; there will be time for that later.
Quantify the value of your solution based on
- the cost of the customer’s problem
- the criteria the customer wants you to use
“The single, most important function of sales is to teach.” – Chuckism #12
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