The easiest way to describe your
service or product is to simply list the
"features". To most salespeople, putting together
a bulleted feature list of things that you supply to the client
seems like the most effective way of conveying value.
Prospect clients want to know the
features that you can offer. It's what they always ask for
and need to hear, but it's not all they need to hear. Many
of your competitors have nearly the same set of features. If
your set of product/service features are all that you use to
identify your company and products, then you are simply left to
compete on price and availability. That's never a good
position to be in.
Running down a set of numbered
services will need to be done, but for the most part, clients will
not be able to recall much of this list. What your prospect
client REALLY wants to know is what this feature will do for
them. What are the benefits?
Learning the client's needs
Before you can determine the
benefits of your service to the client, you must determine what
their needs are. You can list your features, but knowing how
each will benefit the client means that you have to understand
their current situation and be able to identify their needs.
This means asking and listening,
something that many salespeople completely forget to do. If
you do not ask and listen, you do not know how your services will
benefit your client, and you will make some needless mistakes in
describing the benefits.
Also ask general questions about
the customer you are talking to, and do not focus on their needs
in relation to the product/service that you are selling.
General questions can elicit a great deal more information that
can give you unexpected insights into benefits that you otherwise
would have missed.
When selling personal services,
also ask about lifestyle and let them keep talking. Personal
services agreements are generally for the benefit of more than one
person. Home care services are provided to a single client,
but the benefits often reach into extended families.
Tell the feature, but sell the
Imagine your prospect client with
a big sign on her/his forehead... "What will this do for
me?" Even if they don't ask about benefits (and they
won't), they will not buy from you without a clear understanding
of them. Some clients can take a set of features, analyze
them in light of their situation and needs, and determine the
benefits. But don't leave this task up to them. It's
your job... sell them!
Don't be in such a rush to get to
the contract or the door. Take the time that you need to
give a full set of benefits. Take one feature at a time and
explain the benefits. Then relate it to the customer's need
and ask for their agreement.
"Our caregiver takes
your grocery list to your store (FEATURE) and buys the
food you want so that you don't have to make that weekly trip (BENEFIT).
Getting to the store is quite difficult for you right now (RELATE),
isn't it?" (ASKING FOR AGREEMENT)
If you have properly done your
initial Q&A, by the time you have completed your presentation
of features and benefits, you will have delivered exactly what the
prospect client is looking for and received numerous statements of
agreements from them.
This of course is when the fire
is the hottest. Your prospect knows that you are on the same
page, they know that you understand their needs, and this gives
you enormous credibility. With this in hand, the sale is
generally for the asking. So ASK!