So you want to sell more products and services. You want to reach more people and make more money.
Well okay, then!
A lot of what goes into a successful sales interaction happens early on. You’re taking the time to learn about your prospect, understand their situation, their needs, goals and priorities. The quality of your questions and the level of listening you bring to the conversation will build the trust that is a necessary step in getting to yes.
Once you’ve determined a need, it’s time to make your recommendation. It’s at this point, when you’re so much closer to a sale, that many advisors fail to take advantage of a powerful sales tool:
This is the ability to present your recommendation in a compelling way that is uniquely relevant to that person. Describe it so that the desired outcomes feel real and meaningful to only that prospect.
We all have a profound human need to feel heard and truly understood. When you personalize your offering, you not only communicate the value of it, you tap into that deeper human need.
Let’s take a look at how to do this.
Most sales professionals are clear on the difference between a feature and a benefit, but I’ll take a moment for review.
Features are the ‘what’ of what you’re selling. The facts. What a thing does, what is has. If you’re selling a lawnmower, a feature might be a machine-sharpened carbon-steel blade. (…if there is such a thing – I just made that up!)
Benefits are the ‘so what’ of those features. The benefit should help me understand what’s so great about a machine-sharpened blade. Why should I care about that? How will it improve my life? A benefit of our heroic blade might be that it saves times because it cuts through tough grass 30% faster than other brands.
This is where most sales professionals stop. I mean, the benefit is obvious, right? The blade saves time. Everyone wants to save time. Isn’t that enough to close the sale?
In some cases, yes. But we’re interested in increasing your closing rate.
For that, go one step further. Make that benefit tangible and real in your prospect’s life. Help me see the improved outcome in my life by connecting the dots – painting a picture.
Prospect #1. Let’s say I’m a single Mom with a full-time job and three kids. How would you personalize your description of the blade so that it matters to me?
Something like this: Kira, this blade will cut your entire lawn 30% faster than any other brand. That means you can spend more of your Saturday mornings resting or playing with the kids and less of them cutting the lawn…that is of course, until your kids are old enough to take over the job!
Prospect #2. In this case, your prospect is Allan, a university student in his 20’s with a part-time lawn-mowing business. How would you personalize the benefit for him?
Something like this: Allan, this blade will cut lawns 30% faster than any other brand. That means your hourly revenue goes up and you can squeeze in a few more clients each week. More time for studying and partying!
The more you can help your prospect feel the benefits of what you’re selling, the more immediate and urgent the need for that benefit becomes. That’s the motivation they need to say Yes!