Some salespeople have a bad habit that turns customers off: they talk excessively about product features about which customers don’t care. This habit doesn’t wear customers down via persistence; it just annoys them. Potential customers can tell when a salesperson recites a memorized speech, and such a speech usually ends in a hung up phone or prospects’ failure to make the connection between the product’s features and its relevance to their lives. Either way, the salesperson won’t make the sale he or she wants to make.
To avoid this mistake, don’t focus exclusively on a product’s features when talking to potential customers. Instead, demonstrate that the product’s features are useful to the customer. Show him or her how the product can enhance business and fulfill business goals. For example, if you sell fuel efficient vehicles, point out that these vehicles cost less to keep running and can contribute to higher net income for the business.
Inc. calls this sales approach selling on value. However, selling on value builds on points used in selling on features or on benefits — the only thing that’s different is the emphasis. You need to understand the product’s features in order to understand how it can benefit businesses. Similarly, you need to understand the product’s benefits so you can explain how it can help a business achieve its goals. For example, you can’t explain how fuel efficiency helps a business achieve higher net income until you understand that your cars are fuel efficient and that fuel efficiency saves money.
Selling on value is the best approach for your business. You can use your understanding of your customers’ needs to customize your sales pitch so that it addresses those needs. This method allows you to provide specific reasons the product will benefit the customer rather than a memorized list of features and benefits. In addition, you can lead your customer to the conclusion you want him or her to draw using this method. Instead of hoping your customer sees how your product will benefit him or her, you can demonstrate the specific benefits on the spot. This makes it more likely that your customer will draw the conclusion you want him or her to draw — namely that he or she needs to buy your product!
If you are having trouble closing sales, re-examine your sales techniques. Consider adding some more value-based explanations to your sales pitches to help convince customers to buy your products.