Why a Sales Presentation Must Emphasize Benefits Over Facts
When making your sales presentation, it is important to remember that people only buy to satisfy their needs. People also want to go with the product or service that, in their opinion, offers them value in terms of satisfying those needs. There comes a point in the sale where you are trying to convince your prospect that your product delivers more relevant value than the competition, and therefore they should buy from you. There are a number of things you should be able to say about your product that makes someone feel confident that buying from you is the better option. While some of the reasons you discuss can be factual aspects of the product, it’s imperative to list the benefits of owning the product as well.
How to Make the Benefits Stand Out
Although we want to mention facts, it is essential to continually associate them with benefits. While working with a water proofing and restoration firm in Washington, this lesson became an important part of the firm’s sales training process. Due to the nature of their services, most members of the sales team were engineers and it was normal to discuss and emphasize the facts rather than the benefits. Although knowledge of the facts was an important part of showcasing their expertise and building their credibility, it was actually hurting the closing ratios. As part of the training the reps discussed various meetings they had with property managers throughout Washington, Arlington and Alexandria. In each meeting it was clear that they were telling the prospect about everything that was needed to restore the building facade or repair a structural issue. Their engineering knowledge was extensive and that helped them win numerous contracts, however the sales manager recognized they still lost opportunities where they would have been a perfect fit.
To correct the situation the sales reps were taught how to help the prospects recognize the benefit of what was presented. When the engineers expressed facts, the related benefits were so obvious to them that they didn’t think it was even necessary to point them out to the property managers. Word of caution: Often the better we know a product or service the more likely it is we can make that mistake. When telling your prospect something about the product you’re selling, it’s important to spell out why that fact helps/benefits the prospect personally. The benefit the customer perceives determines whether or not the sale is closed. Prospects buy benefits and solutions, not facts.
Remember, as a rep you must help them see and get the benefits they want. The general rule of thumb regarding facts and benefits is that once you state a fact about the product you’re selling, immediately jump into a benefit that relates to that fact that can be desirable to the prospect.
Additionally, benefits can help to respond to objections, should they come up. The very common “the price is too high” objection can usually be answered by stating the benefits – or, the reasons why the price is higher than competitors may be. People frequently buy products that are more expensive than a competitor’s as long as they see additional value, which is a benefit.
For example, the sales reps of the restoration firm frequently mentioned that the firm has been in business for over 50 years. This is very clearly a fact that substantiates credibility and that the firm is not “fly by night”. During the sales training they learned to help the prospect link that fact to various benefits. They began to explain how Washington had many old buildings and that the historic ones often had hidden structural issues. Because they have worked on so many of D.C.’s historic buildings over the last 50 years, they were equipped to handle the issue, they could protect the building facade, and the property manger felt confident that the quote was accurate.
The close rate increased and a number of contracts were awarded even without being the lowest bid. Facility mangers wanted to avoid surprises. They didn’t want someone trying to correct a problem, they wanted the expert in right from the start and saw great value in being able to give the building owner they reported to an accurate bid at the beginning. Accurate info and confidence made the building manager also look like an expert and that was priceless. Each rep learned to connect a long list of facts about the firm, its services, and even engineering basics to benefits the prospects saw as highly valuable.
To Improve Your Sales Skills:
- List 10 facts about your product as well as your firm
- Next to each fact state two or more benefits related to that fact
- Begin to communicate each fact with a related benefit to the buyer (even if it is obvious to you)
On occasion, the benefit from the fact may be so obvious that it isn’t worth mentioning, but if you’re ever in doubt, tell them. People don’t buy products, they buy the benefits of those products.
Mark Anthony and each sales training program are designed to have each firms unique benefits standout so close rates increase as prospects see greater value. Call Training for Success at 877-464-5215 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.