A Beginner's Guide to Selling Features, Advantages and Benefits
It's the conundrum that has many a trainee salesperson scratching their head; 'The product I'm selling has thousands of brilliant and unique features, but no matter how well I describe them, customers are rarely interested in buying. Why'?
Experienced salespeople know, of course, that a product or service?s features alone don't usually provide a customer sufficient justification for making a purchase. Other aspects - benefits and sometimes, by association, advantages - are crucial components of the sales formula.
In Selling Features & Benefits, business skills training specialists Maguire Training demonstrate the respective roles of features and benefits in the sales process and how they are linked and explain why merely detailing features is an ineffective approach to selling a product or service. Delegates will learn the value of selling features and benefits together to create genuine customer interest and gain useful knowledge and techniques for maximising the potential of selling features and benefits.
Meanwhile, here's a quick primer for anyone new to sales which explains the differences between features, advantages and benefits, how they fit together and why, when combined, they can make an irresistibly persuasive sales argument.
The easiest way to distinguish between features, advantages and benefits is to take an example product. It?s a new smartphone which has: the latest Android operating system and 16 gigabytes of memory, 4G capability, a large 6? high definition true-colour touchscreen display, an always-on?push? email client, a thumbprint security system an inbuilt homing beacon, a 20 megapixel camera and a titanium-alloy case.
All of the aspects of the phone that I've just described are its features. Let's assume you are a businessman who is looking to purchase a new mobile phone. If you've never owned a smartphone before you may have no idea as to whether those features are desireable or noteworthy regardless of how impressive they are in reality. The customer has no context in which to make a decision as to whether or not this is good phone for them; if the salesperson lists the features alone without providing a context that is relevant to the buyer, the buyer's likely response will be 'so what?'
This is where 'advantages' help. Some of the advantages of this phone could be explained by the salesman thus: 'This phone has an always-on push email client so you can receive and respond to email wherever you are. It has 4G capability which provides the fastest and best mobile network coverage currently available. It has the latest Android operating system and 16 gigabytes of memory which means you can run a suite of office software and countless other useful applications on it'. By adding the detail of the advantages of the smartphone's features it may now be of more relevance, and therefore interest to the potential purchaser who now understands that because it has feature 'x', it is capable of providing advantage 'y'.
It's an improvement, but the customer may by now be feeling that whilst this is an impressive phone what, precisely, is 'in it for them' if they buy it?
Benefits are the most powerful part of the equation, as the shrewd salesperson will be able to demonstrate how the smartphone's features and advantages will personally benefit the potential purchaser. Taking the earlier examples, the salesperson might sell the benefits thus:
'This phone has an always-on push email client so you can receive and respond to email wherever you are; this means you will never again lose business email because you missed an important email whilst you were away from your desk. It has 4G capability which provides the fastest and best mobile network coverage currently available which means that you will always be able to stay in contact with your colleagues or family no matter where you are if you're travelling away from work or home . It has the latest Android operating system and 16 gigabytes of memory which means you can run a suite of office software and countless other useful applications on it so you can remain productive and work on presentations, spreadsheets or documents even whilst you?re commuting on the train'.
Suddenly, the businessman can see exactly why the smartphone would be a good purchase as the salesperson has related its features and benefits directly to the needs of the businessman. Tailoring a product or service?s benefits to the requirements of the purchaser in this way is the key to making the sale.
Want to know more? Selling Features & Benefits, which is available both as a classroom-based session and a convenient online training course via Maguire Training's easy-to-use and innovative E-learning system, provides everything delegates need to sell features and advantages effectively and successfully increase sales.