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The Sales Buzz Issue 237 - Positive Benefits – Are you sure you know them all
September 09, 2014

Positive Benefits – Are you sure you know them all

Positive benefits , are you sure you know all the ways that the products and services you sell can benefit your customers.

Read this brief real example to make sure:

Two sales people prepared for a presentation to a large prospect.

Their presentation covered all the customer’s requirements that were stated in the tender documents.

And they felt confident that they would give a good performance.

They were up against a much larger competitor and the only big negative that they feared was that the customer would see them as a small company.

Perhaps too small for this large contract.

There were several points in their presentation that were aimed at overcoming this potential objection but they worried that if the panel of buyers held this belief it could be difficult to overcome.

The two sales people thought the buyers would see their smaller company as inexperienced in supplying services to a large account.

At the same time the presenters from the larger supplier thought that they had a great advantage and positive benefit because they already serviced many accounts nationally of a similar large size. They could also give many examples of large accounts that they managed and the actions that they had taken with them.

Both sets of sales people gave their presentations and were happy that they had covered all the customer needs asked for in the tender.

The two presenters from the smaller company still thought the buyers were going to see their size and lack of large accounts as a negative. The sales people from the larger company felt confident that their experience of managing other big accounts would lead to a successful bid.

What the buyers thought

A few days after the presentations one of the sales people from the smaller supplier was able to get some unofficial feedback.

They asked about the issue of them being a smallish company with few large accounts and wanted to know how much of a disadvantage this was.

It was a huge surprise when they were told that rather than size being an issue and a disadvantage it was actually seen as a positive benefit by the panel of buyers.

The buyers thought that as a very large account with a small service provider they would be well looked after and they would be very important to the smaller supplier. The larger supplier had many big accounts and to them they would be nothing special, just another large account, and they would not be seen as being any more important than all their other large accounts.

Find all your benefits

To make sure that you know all the benefits of your products and services take some actions.

We all make assumptions about what a sales prospect sees as a negative objection or a positive benefit. We presume to know what they will think from their perspective. So what can we do to ensure that we don’t see negatives and we know all the benefits that we can offer.

Take the following actions and use all your features and benefits:

1. List all the features of your products and services. Include everything about the products that you sell: your company, the service, your experience, and remember the example above.

And do not judge the features, do not think about whether they are positive benefits or negative objections, just list them all.

2. Now, next to each feature on your list write as many positives as you can that will benefit the buyer. Even the ones that you used to see as potential negatives, come up with reasons why they could be a benefit to some customers.

A great example

A great example of No2 above is a feature and benefit combination that I have used many times. When I was managing sales teams that sold a service that was provided at the customer’s premises and the customer was on the very edge of the area we serviced many sales people assumed that the buyer would see this as a negative.

They thought the buyer would think that there would be problems caused by the distance, or that they would be missed if there were any problems with our logistics dept.

Instead I got my team to list all the positive benefits about this feature of the customer being at the edge of our service area. Here are some examples that they came up with:

a. Being the last customer on the route means you will not get forgotten by our driver.

b. If there are any transport issues we will become aware of them in plenty of time before we get to your site and have more time to sort them out.

c. As we will get to you later in the day it will always be in business hours when we arrive and you will be at the premises.

Having an open mind about features and whether they are positive benefits to a customer is a way to make sure that you present your sales proposal in the most effective way.

See more on features and benefits at Sales presentation tips

I'm Stephen Craine from the website

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