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What’s Next Stay tuned for the next installment in the “Help I’m in Sales Workbook Series”: Stop the Fear of Rejection What to Say When the Customer Says No! Learn four simple tactics to turn any no into a yes!

Copyright © 2007

Printed in the United States


What to Say & How to Say it!

Help! I’m in Sales! Workbook Series

Getting Help & Advice

Never Struggle with Your Marketing Message Again!

Pat is happy to provide help and offer advice. You are more than welcome to get in touch with her if you need to…

What to Say & How to Say it! By Pat Blanchard The “Help! I’m in Sales!” workbook series is dedicated to enabling independent business owners to develop their Skills, Attitude, Leadership and Enthusiasm for Success! (SALES)

• • • • • •

Copyright © 2007 Innovative Learning by Design, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the author except for the inclusion of quotations in a review.

• • •

Ask a question Give feedback Get help with this book Get help with your sales material Get help on creating an e-course Inquire about joint ventures Receive updates about other products Know more about ILbyD Simply Chat

By email: info@ilbyd.com By website: www.ilbyd.com or www.ILbyD.com/blog

To purchase additional copies of “What to Say & How to Say it! or to learn more about the author, visit www.ILbyD.com Published by: First printing 2007

By mail:140 Roosevelt Ave Suite 207 York PA 17401 By phone:717.505.8516 EST

Cover Design by: Diane Carter, www.sam101.com

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What to Say & How to Say it!

About the Author Pat Blanchard, is a professional instructional designer and a leading authority on the design and development of interactive training. With 20 years of experience in corporate America as a sales rep & trainer and as a successful entrepreneur, Pat is a sought-after speaker, trainer, designer and facilitator. She is president of Innovative Learning by Design, Inc. and resides in York, PA with her husband JM and two cats. An innovator and business analyst as well, Pat has been speaking nationally since 1990, and was selected as the keynote speaker for an American Society of Training and Development seminar event. She has spoken extensively in the Chicago area, and is a popular speaker in the MidAtlantic Region. Pat conducts learning, sales and presentation skills training for corporations, small businesses, nonprofit organizations and networking associations. As a professional salesperson earlier in her career, she consistently achieved and exceeded her sales goals, garnering several awards. Her clients are based anywhere from Washington DC to Hawaii.

What to Say & How to Say it! By Pat Blanchard

With a B.S. from Madonna University, graduate courses and training in educational psychology, along with extensive sales, business and presentation seminars, Pat is fluent in all of the popular selling methods, including SPIN, Face-toFace, and Solution Selling. She is certified in adult learning theories, creative and accelerated learning methodologies and train-the-trainer programs. Pat has recently been featured on Voice America Business, the live streaming radio/Internet show for small business, on “Training Diseases—Cure Them or Die�. Page 54

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What to Say & How to Say it!

Dedication Dedication To my husband J.M., who has been my constant support and who has never doubted my ability. He is my best friend, lover and soul mate, to whom I am forever grateful to have as my life partner. My gentle reminder that our life journey is exciting as the destination and that God has a plan! Je’ Taime!

Answer Key (continued) Avoid Feature Overload 1. Because this savings account accrues on a monthly basis, F this account provides more interest than similar accounts. B 2. The fact that this medication is time-released F means you get the full benefit of the therapy with the added convenience of taking only one capsule a day. B 3. You can immediately begin to enjoy music B with this MP3 player because it comes with a user-friendly manual and training CD. F 4. Our online checking allows you to set up recurring payments F so you will never worry about missing payments. B 5. The coaching sessions can be conducted via the telephone F making it easier for you to schedule calls when traveling. B

Avoid a Disconnect The car salesperson loses the sale to Ms. Boyle when he begins to talk in depth about the Hydro and braking systems. Ms. Boyle has clearly stated her needs: a low cost, small and economical automobile with basic features and functionality. The car salesperson describes to Ms. Boyle a multitude of features that she would not use nor was interested in having. Simply stated, the car salesperson did not listen to Ms. Boyle and address her needs.

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What to Say & How to Say it!

Contents

Answer Key Know Your Product and Service Each feature is underlined and the benefit is double underlined. • • • • • • •

Bicycle made of titanium Children’s shoes with Velcro closures Air filters in three sizes Lawnmower with foldable handle and electric start Travel agency with 24/7 phone service Computer training services on customer’s site Cabinet doors in four woods: cherry, oak, walnut and ash

Know What You Offer 1. The Titan offers a sleek keyboard and large display monitor. F The system is small, about the size of a binder. F 2. This new heavy duty cleaner contains scrubzymes F that save you time and effort since there is less scrubbing. B 3. Buying a vacation rental, rather than renting, reduces your hotel expenses by 50 percent. F This can save you $3,000 a year in hotel expenses. B 4. One benefit of this cell phone is that it will automatically transfer incoming calls to voicemail, F even when your phone is turned off. B

Why Read this Book

6

What You Will Learn

9

Know Your Product or Service

11

Know What You Offer Customers

17

Avoid Feature Overload

21

Avoid a Disconnect

27

Narrow the Playing Field

34

Resolve their Problem

45

Put it into Action!

49

Appendix

40

About the Author

54

Getting Help & Advice

55

5. We offer several payment options, cash, credit card or a monthly payment plan F, allowing you budget flexibility. B Page 52

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What to Say & How to Say it!

Why Read this Book Did you know that, as a small business owner, you share many of the same quandaries of other small business owners? One such shared point of struggle is not knowing what to say and how to say it when discussing their products and services. A common theme I often hear is “My customers look overwhelmed and confused after my presentation.” In this book, you will learn the steps and information to help you formulate what you say and how to say it, to make it most meaningful for your prospect or client. It involves identifying what makes your product or service unique, clearly defining the benefits it brings to your customers, showing how they help solve a problem or address a need. That’s all there is to it! This is the foundation of any sales program and a fundamental selling tool.

Appendix

Truly understanding your customer’s needs and meeting those needs, through the benefits provided by your product or service, will guarantee your business to be competitive and truly successful. If you apply the information from this book and work the suggested exercises, you will begin to see a marked increase in customer sales and the growth and development of your business. Remember selling is as simple as knowing what to say, & how to say it! Enjoy your way to success!

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I begin each “What to say & How to Say it!” workshop by asking how many in the audience went into business because they wanted to be in sales. It’s not surprising to see about 99 percent cringe and remark that selling was not the reason. Most say they wanted to share their passion (healthy living) or talent (coaching).

“If you don’t drive your business you will be driven out of business.” Bertie Charles Forbes Author, publisher

Unfortunately, being passionate or having a good product or service, doesn’t guarantee customers will buy. The reluctance of these independent business owners (from franchise reps to consultants, from coaches to financial planners) is their mindset. Most think sales is about boasting, or looking pushy and even worst looking like a used car salesperson. Not true! The fact is, selling is a skill that can be learned, even if you think you have to be born with it and, once mastered, can be easy and fun. As a corporate sales trainer, I found some of the best sales reps came from the ones who were most reluctant but, were willing to try. If you bought this book, then you are willing to try. The key to being successful in sales is knowing it’s not about you, the salesperson, or the product or service. It’s about the customer, about creating a relationship, and about how you can help solve a problem. It’s not about selling the customer; it’s about getting them to buy. The goal of this book is to share and pass along the sales insights, expertise and information I have been privileged to learn along my career journey.

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This is a working book. Do the exercises and activities as explained, write it in, take notes, make it your own and use it when you need reinforcement. Remember, learning a new skill is a continuous process and only practice makes perfect. Think of the first time you rode a bike. It wasn’t easy, a little wobbly at first until you got the hang of it but soon you were on your way, riding with no hands. This book is intended to be your training wheels in helping you develop the Skills, Attitude, Leadership and Enthusiasm for Success (SALES). The process has been broken down into small sections for easy learning and mastering of a particular skill, allowing you to concentrate on specific areas of interest, instead of having to read the entire book for information. Use this book as your guide every time you need to know What to say and How to say it! to a new customer. My best, for your success! – Pat Blanchard

Put it into Action! When you have mastered the fundamental tools outlined in this book, you can then apply the concepts to other marketing efforts. Using your ideal customer information, incorporate your features and benefits statements into your marketing brochures, product specification sheets, website text, mailers and promotional flyers. If you are approaching a new or different customer, refresh yourself on the important sales basics (avoid a disconnect and feature overload) in this book. Review the ideal customer and needs section and diligently link your product benefits to the needs of your new customer and how you can help them solve their problem. When you focus on your customer’s needs, you get their attention. Once you have mastered the art of discussing your products and services, the selling part of being in business starts to take care of itself. By using the process outlined in this book, you’ll struggle less and less with your marketing message and become more and more comfortable talking about your product or service. Over time, you will clearly know “What to Say & How to Say It! to your customers. Selling will be easy and fun, and, even more importantly, you will have become a successful business owner and great salesperson! Please let us know your success stories, it may be featured in our next workbook!

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What to Say & How to Say it!

Now it’s your turn to put create your message.

What You Will Learn

1. Know who your ideal customer is

Upon completion of this book, you will learn how to:

2. Identify the problem or need they have

3. Show what you offer that can resolve the problem or need

Identify the characteristics that make your products and services unique

Identify how your customers benefit from your products or services

Identify your target customer to focus your sales efforts

Discuss how your product or service can help solve your customer problems

Create a marketing message that gets your message across

Feel confident the next time you discuss your product or service with customer

How You Will Learn

4. Provide an example that demonstrates your ability and capability.

Once you are clear on your message, you are now free to put it into action!

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The concepts have been broken down into small segments for easy learning and mastering of a particular skill, allowing you to concentrate on specific areas of interest instead of having to read the entire book for information. The book follows a learning process called L.E.A.D. Tm (Learn, Experience, Apply and Do). After each key concept, a review exercise follows to help cement the key concepts. Next, a set of examples follows to help illustrate how the information is applied. After which comes a practice exercise allowing you to apply it to your own personal situation. At the end of the book, practical applications are outlined to help put it into action!

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Resolve their Problem The benefits of your products and services are only potential benefits until they can be shown to meet specific customer needs. Your job is to 1) convert general problems to specific needs, and 2) link those needs to the benefits of your products or services. In this way, you link your customer’s problem with your specific product or service. You can accomplish this with four easy steps. 1. 2. 3. 4.

Know who your ideal customer is Identify the problem or need they have Show what you offer that resolves the problem or need Provide an example that demonstrates your ability and capability

For example: I work with 1 small independent business owners who are struggling with their marketing message. We reduce the 2 stress and anxiety of presenting a company’s products and services by creating 3 literature packages that are multi functional and easily customized for every prospect or situation. 4I

helped one client who needed to present information the next day and was up to 15 pages of information. I reformatted, edited and reduced it to a professional looking seven-page package, which outlined, the services, past experience, capabilities and pricing and is easily customized by simply pulling out a page. The client now focuses their efforts on the sales process not the sales literature.

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“The benefits of your products and services are only potential solutions until they can be shown to meet specific customer needs.�

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Know Your Product & Service

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What to Say & How to Say it!

“Features are what a product or service “is” or “does”.”

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Resolve Their Problem

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In this exercise, you are to tie to each of your product or service features and benefits to a potential customer problem or need.

Know Your Product or Service

Description:

The first step starts with knowing your products and services. All products and services contain features. Features are defined as characteristics, qualities or attributes. They are designed into products and services to meet perceived market and /or customer needs.

Feature 1: Benefit: Problem / need:

For example: A feature of a line of cosmetics is that it is made from all natural ingredients. A feature of a health drink is that it has no preservatives. A feature of a teleseminar is that it’s conducted over the phone. In short, features are what a product or service is or does.

Product / Service Name:

Feature 2: Benefit: Problem / need:

Let’s look at some everyday products and services – see if you can identify the feature in each of the following: • • •

Feature 3: Benefit: Problem / need:

• • • •

Feature 4: Benefit: Problem / need: Feature 5: Benefit: Problem / need:

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• •

Bicycle made of titanium Children’s shoes with Velcro closures Air filters in three sizes Lawnmower with foldable handle and electric start Travel agency with 24/7 phone service On-site computer training services Cabinet doors in four woods: cherry, oak, walnut and ash Fragrance free cosmetics Organically grown product

Turn to the answer key at the back of the book to confirm your answers. Page 13


What to Say & How to Say it!

It starts with knowing what your product or service is or does. In this exercise, you are to list the top features of your product or service. Take your time to think through the qualities and characteristics of the product or service you provide to your customer. Ask yourself the following questions to help you identify their key features. •

Does my product come in different styles, colors, shapes or sizes?

What kind of material is the product made from?

Does my business offer unusual hours or accessibility?

Does my service offer different choices?

Before you begin let’s review, a couple of examples to help you get started. The first one lists features of a service business which, often times can be difficult to think in terms of a tangible product when in fact its intangible.

Service Name: Coaching Description: Executive

career development

Feature 1: One-on-One

coaching sessions

consultative meeting

Feature 3: Comprehensive Career Report Feature 4: Follow-up Feature 5: Weekly Page 14

Description: Executive

career development

Feature 1: One-on-one Coaching Sessions Benefit: allows

individual to work on key areas which are critical to their career growth Problem / need: on career fast track lacking key leadership skills Free consultative meeting Benefit: identifies areas for development without committing to a full series Problem / need: must meet budget guidelines Feature 2:

Feature 3: Comprehensive Career Report Benefit: a

Example#1

Feature 2: Free

Example#1 Service Name: Coaching

phone calls

Status Reports

road map for career development Problem / need: Human Resources requires documentation of career development steps Feature 4: Follow-up

phone calls Benefit: reinforcement of business skills Problem / need: manager requires feedback for performance appraisals Feature 5: Weekly

Status Reports Benefit: monitor and chart progress Problem / need: requires reports for expense Page 43


What to Say & How to Say it!

Knowing who your ideal customer is and their potential needs is the most important aspect of your business. Convincing your customers that you understand their needs and requirements is what sales is all about. Your ideal customer is going to bring to the discussion a set of general problems or specific statements of needs. We briefly touched on a couple of customer needs in the previous section; the young mother who is looking for nutritional snacks for her young children and the business owner who’s looking for an entry - level management training program. You, however, come to the discussion with a range of products and services that have many features offering an array of benefits. These benefits fulfill a need and/ or solve a problem. Now, can you see how all of this is coming together?

Our second example lists the features of a health product business. No matter if it’s a tangible object or not, what ever your business provides has distinct features. And in some instances you may be providing both a service and a product. ( i.e. computer support and web design, coffee shop and customer service.) Example #2 Product Name: Health

Products Description: Juice and vitamin supplements Feature 1: Contains

nutritional value of 17 key fruits, vegetables and grains Feature 2: Capsules

Customer Problem

Specific Needs

Feature 3: All

or flavored chewable tablets

natural juice flavors

Feature 4: Shipping

and handling included

Feature 5: Four-month Link Benefits to Specific Needs; Problems

Product Features

supplies payable in four monthly installments

Provide Benefits

Take a few moments to review the following example on the next page before starting the next exercise. Page 42

Now it’s your turn to identify what makes your product and services unique.

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What to Say & How to Say it!

My Product /Service Name: Description:

Feature 1:

Take a few moments to answer the following questions to help you identify and/or clarify your ideal customer. Note: Most of the clients I talk to find this next exercise difficult so if you are struggling with this section, please contact ILbyD directly and we will personally help you through it. Product / Service: 1. My ideal customer has the following background facts:

Feature 2:

Feature 3: 2. My ideal customer holds the following beliefs: Feature 4:

Feature 5: 3. The following buying motivators are important to my ideal customer: Now that you’ve listed what makes up your products and services, the next step is to determine what the customer gets from working with you. In other words, what are the benefits to the customer? Now that you have a clearer picture of who your ideal customer is. It’s time to look at their potential needs or problems they may be dealing with.

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Example #2 Product: Sports Health Drinks and Snacks Customer Background: Urban

dweller, single Beliefs: sports minded, environmentally conscious Buying Motivator: recycled or reusable packaging In our second example, our ideal customer, lives in the city, is single, is sports minded and keeping the environment healthy is important. You are at a chamber trade show in the suburbs, a young mother of three approaches looking for nutritional snacks for her children. What do you do? In our first example: The business owner needs someone who specializes in manufacturing and that offers a training program geared towards entry-level management. Even though you offer management services its not the right fit for you or the prospective customer.

Know what you offer Customers

The young mother though interested in nutritional snacks needs products geared toward young children not athletes. Even though you sell nutritional products its not the right fit for you or the prospective customer. I hope that both of these example help to illustrate how products and services can’t be all things to anyone and everyone and that finding the right fit is the key to success in your business.

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Let’s use your friends as an example again. Your friends in all likely hood are close to the same age, like similar activities, live in close proximity of each other, might be married, or single etc. All of which will influence what you might do together. Your customers will exhibit some or all of the same attributes as well. Let’s review a couple of examples before you clarify who your ideal customer is.

“Customers buy based on what the product or service offers them versus what it is or can do.”

Example #1 Service: Executive Coaching Customer Background: Age

35- 55, Male or female, College or Higher level education, corporate position, banking industry Customer Beliefs: career

fast track

focused, on management

Buying Motivators: personalized,

scheduling

flexible

In the first example, the ideal customer is 35 - 55 in age, career minded, on the fast track, in corporate management, works in the banking industry, needs flexible scheduling and one-on-one coaching sessions. You meet a business owner looking to provide leadership training to their 20 manufacturing night shift supervisors, who have high school education and limited staff experience. What do you do?

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Beliefs are the psychological traits that influence buying decisions, such as: attitudes, emotions and values. For example; a customer may be socially conscious or familyoriented. A corporate client may be environmentally friendly, fast-growing or budget conscious. Buying motivators are product or service promotions that encourage or discourage your customer from making a buying decision. Examples include: discounts, attractive packaging, payment options and warranties. The following chart lists examples of the three different characteristics. Background Facts

Beliefs

Buying Motivators

Age

Conservative

Price

Gender

Liberal

Product quality

Profession

Conformist

Brand name recognition

Education level

Environmentally Friendly

Technical assistance

Household income level

Socially conscious

Ease of ordering

Marital status

Family - oriented

Number of employees

Market leader

Discounts and sales Attractive packaging

Annual revenue

Employee familyfriendly

Ease of use

Year founded

Budget-conscious

Guarantees / warranties

Number, size and location of branches

Growth stage (start-up, growth, stable or decline)

Flexible payment terms

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Know What You Offer Customers Defining the benefits or what your product or service offers helps to get your prospect’s interest, it lets them know you understand their situation. Benefits are defined as the solution, advantage or improvement your product or service provides. If features are what a product is or does, then benefits are what makes your customer’s life easier, faster or better. It is the reason they buy from you. For example, let’s take a look at the following features and review the benefits each provides. (each benefit is underlined) •

A cell phone with a built-in camera allows you to take digital pictures, without having to invest in a digital camera.

A backlit calculator allows you to see the numbers clearly so mistakes are minimized.

A homeowner’s policy with flood coverage guarantees that you will be able to weather any storm and be able to replace your house.

A coach offers coaching by phone, which allows you to talk in the privacy of your home or office.

The key point to remember is customers buy based on what the product or service can offer them vs. what it is or can do. Think of the last time you bought something at the store was it because of the features or was it because of the benefits? Now, it’s your turn to identify what your product or service offer customers versus what it does or is.

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What to Say & How to Say it!

Use an “F” for Feature or a “B” for Benefit to indicate which of the following statements are features and those that are benefits. 1.

The Titan offers a sleek keyboard and large display monitor. The system is small, about the size of a binder.

2.

This new heavy duty cleaner contains scrubzymes that save you time and effort because there is less scrubbing.

3.

Buying a vacation rental, versus renting can reduce your hotel expenses by 50 percent. This saves you $3,000 a year in hotel expenses.

4.

This new cell phone will automatically transfer incoming calls to voicemail, even when your phone is turned off.

5.

We offer several payment options, cash, credit card or a monthly payment plan, allowing you budget flexibility.

The goal is to identify whom you sell to so your prospective customer immediately knows; if what you provide, is for them or not. A key part of marketing and sales is targeting the ideal customer for your product or service. Next time you watch a TV commercial, make it a game and try to analyze who it is the manufacturer, or store is targeting. Is it the baby boomers, families, children, singles, married couples, people with pets? The list can go on and on. You’ll soon discover that if you watch certain TV channels the commercials are geared toward a certain age group or gender. Take, for example, watching commercials on the sports channels. Most of the commercials show images of beer, trucks, fast cars and similar products. If you are female, and find your male counterparts laughing hysterically at a commercial, but you’re not “getting it”, it’s because you weren’t meant to understand it. These advertisers know their ideal customers are men and understand they share similar characteristics and interests that motivate them to buy their products.

Turn to the answer key in the back of the book to confirm your answers.

Your ideal customers also share certain similarities and interests that influence their buying decisions. These similarities or characteristics can be broken into three areas: background facts, beliefs and buying motivators.

Customers become and remain your customers because they derive something from your product or service – it solves a problem or satisfies a need. Even the perception that your product fulfills a need can convince someone to purchase your product. When you can explicitly explain and demonstrate what your customer gets by working with you, your products and services will begin to sell themselves.

Background Facts include such attributes as age, sex, race, size of family, level of education, occupation, income and where they live. For businesses, background facts include: geographic location, number of employees, and annual revenue.

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What to Say & How to Say it!

Narrow the Playing Field Often during networking or chamber events, businesses are asked to describe what they do and state who an ideal customer is for them. The most common statement often heard starts with either “Anyone or Everyone”. If you’ve found yourself saying your ideal customer is anyone or everyone, it’s time to narrow the playing field and focus your marketing and sales efforts. Not everyone or anyone can be your ideal customer. Why? Because sales is based on creating and establishing a relationship with your customer. Think of it this way. What if you said everyone and anyone is a friend. Would that be a true statement? Probably not, and the reason is, because it’s hard to be all things to all people and your products and services can’t be all things to all people either.

Avoid Feature Overload

When you make friends its because you share common interests and likes, you have something to offer and vice-aversa. Your customer views your products and services the same way. They are looking for a long-term relationship just as you are when you start out to make friends. Wouldn’t it be a lot more fun selling your product to those people who are interested than to a sea of blank faces? Of course, it would! Eliminating the need to sell to everyone and anyone, allows you to focus your energy where it’s needed: on customers most interested in buying your products and services.

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What to Say & How to Say it!

“Feature only statements leave the customer saying “ So What!”

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Narrow the Playing Field

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What to Say & How to Say it!

Avoid Feature Overload

“The goal is to identify whom you sell to so your prospective customer knows immediately if what you provide is for them or not.”

A common problem, even amongst the best is assuming the benefits of our products and services are self-evident and do not need an explanation. Oftentimes, we tend to emphasize more of what the product can do versus what it offers the customer. This can lead to discussions that result in what I call “feature overload.” That glazed over look your customers get in their eyes when they’ve gotten too much information. Buying a cell phone often comes to mind. Think through the last time you had to buy one. Did the sales clerk inundate you with all the features while all the time you are thinking all I wanted to do is make a phone call! How can you tell if you are talking too much about what a product or service does or is and not stressing what it offers? The simplest and easiest way is to apply the “So what?” test. “Feature only” statements always leave you saying to yourself “So what?” Consider this feature-only statement, “This cell phone is only ¼ inch thick.” The statement leads you to say “So what?” However, when we add in what it offers, it has a very different impact, “This cell phone is only ¼ inch thick and that means it can easily fit into your jacket, pocket or purse”. Now you are saying Hmm! tell me more! You’ve peeked my interest!

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What to Say & How to Say it!

Let’s see if you can distinguish between some common features and benefits as you work through the following exercise. Read each of the following statements and mark the feature and benefit in each of the following statements. 1. This savings account accrues on a monthly basis allowing you to accrue more interest than in similar accounts. 2. This medication is time-released which means you get the full benefit of the therapy with the added convenience of taking only one capsule a day. 3. You can immediately begin to enjoy music with this MP3 player because it comes with a user-friendly manual and training CD. 4. Our online checking allows you to set up recurring payments so you will never have to worry about missing a payment. 5. The coaching sessions can be conducted via the telephone making it easier for you to schedule calls when traveling. Turn to the answer key in the back of the book to confirm your answers. Remember, your customer does not buy features, they buy the benefits your products and services can provide them. They buy benefits because they help to solve a problem or fill a need. You’ll learn more about this step in the next section.

I use this story because it helps illustrate the importance of discussing benefits vs. features and how important it is to focus on benefits that relate specifically to the customer. If your customer is looking for economy, and you are stressing luxury, there is a disconnect between you and the customer, resulting in a lost sale. The story also demonstrates what not to do when it comes to sales. Sales activity is not about being pushy. Think of times when you were sold well, you probably didn’t realize it and enjoyed it. This is what you want your customers to experience. So, what do great salespeople know or do differently than the mediocre ones? The truth is, the best sales people know how to tune into their customers favorite station WIIFM, “What’s In It For Me”. Good salespeople are aware of how they themselves like to buy, which allows them to focus on their customer’s point of view. How do they do that? They have a clear picture of who their target customer is and know they can’t and shouldn’t sell everything to everybody. They know how to put themselves into their customer’s shoes! When I ask clients to write down specifics about their ideal customer, it’s often met with groans and comments about how hard it is. Nevertheless, I guarantee you, that if you take the time to really think through the following section, you will be rewarded with large dividends.

Turn to the back of the book to find at what point the Sales Rep lost the sale to Ms. Boyle. Page 24

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What to Say & How to Say it!

Sales Rep: That is one of the best features of the car. It is a cruise control system that senses hills, and even the wind, and adjusts the speed of the car automatically for you. Ms. Boyle: You mean I can’t control the speed myself? Sales Rep: Oh sure you can. Most people just use this for long trips. Ms. Boyle: Oh… Sales Rep: And see that control there? That is the rain sensing wiper control. As soon as it begins to rain, the wipers turn on immediately. Ms. Boyle: Are these fancy systems extra? Sales Rep: No, they are built into the cost of the car. So are a number of the other standard features like the power steering, CD player and automatic door locks. Ms. Boyle: I’m not real big on gadgets. I just like a car that…. Sales Rep: Did you notice the built-in cup holders and map light? Those are some of the little extras that come with the Lightning. Ms. Boyle: And probably boost up the price. As I said, I’m looking for something fairly simple. Sales Rep: The Lightning is one of the best values on the market today. Would you like to test drive it?

Before you begin the next exercise, take a moment to review the examples below. Example #1 Service Name: Coaching Description: Executive

career development

Feature 1: One-on-One Coaching Sessions Benefit: allows

individual to work on key areas important to their career growth Feature 2:

Free Consultative Meeting Benefit: Identify areas for development without committing to a full series Feature 3: Comprehensive Career Report Benefit: A

personalized career development plan

Feature 4: Follow-up

Phone Calls Benefit: Reinforcement of business skills Feature 5: Weekly

Status Reports Benefit: Monitor and chart progress Now it’s your turn to identify the benefits your products or services offer your customers.

Ms. Boyle: No, I don’t think so. It’s probably more than I can afford and besides, all that speed and handling would be wasted on someone like me.. Page 32

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What to Say & How to Say it!

In this exercise, you are to use the features you identified from the previous exercise. Next to each feature, write the benefit that each offers to your customer. Remember to apply the “So what?” test to check if you’ve applied a benefit.

Sales Rep: The Lightning is one of our best sellers. Most people like it because of its features and handling. Why don’t you have a seat in it? Ms. Boyle: OK. Gee this is nice and compact.

Product or Service Name: Description:

Sales Rep: That’s right. The Lightning was built for handling and maneuverability. It’s small enough to fit in the tightest spaces.

Feature 1 Benefit:

Ms. Boyle: That’s what I like. The shopping center parking spaces seem to get smaller all the time.

Feature 2 Benefit:

Sales Rep: I think you’ll also find it economical. It gets almost 40 miles to the gallon and doesn’t require a tune-up until 60,000 miles. Ms. Boyle: 40 miles to the gallon. Imagine that! It’s a lot better than that gas guzzler I’ve got parked out front there.

Feature 3 Benefit:

Feature 4 Benefit:

Sales Rep: The gas mileage comes from the enhanced design of the Hydro engine. It’s economical, but can also go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 9 seconds. With its dynamic suspension, you can take some of the tightest turns without any loss of control. Ms. Boyle: I see. Well, speed isn’t a big thing for me.

Feature 5 Benefit:

So far, you’ve learned what your product or service is or does and what it offers your client. The next step is to know what problem or need your customer is wrestling with and how you can help resolve it. Page 26

Sales Rep: The power braking system and the antilock brakes give the Lightning one of the shortest stopping distances. Those brakes combined with the new air bag system, make this one of the safest cars on the road today. Ms. Boyle: As I said, I don’t drive real fast, so brakes and things like that don’t do a lot for me. What is this thing?

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What to Say & How to Say it!

Ms. Boyle: Once in a blue moon I’ll have my neighbor’s little boy with me, but that’s rare. For the most part it’s just me. Sales Rep: Ms. Boyle, what sorts of things are you looking for in a car? Ms. Boyle: That’s a good question. Let’s see… It has to be economical. A retired school teacher doesn’t have a lot of money, you know. I want something that’s small so I can park easily. It doesn’t have to go real fast. Oh, I know what I don’t want though! Sales Rep: What’s that? Ms. Boyle: I don’t want a lot of those silly gadgets I see on other people’s cars. Honestly, my neighbor Ellen just bought a car with all sorts of nonsense. Buttons to roll up and down the windows, a gadget to open the trunk from the inside, a reading light, and even a thing that shows the outside temperature. What a waste of money!

Avoid a Disconnect

Sales Rep: I suppose that everyone has his or her own likes and dislikes. Ms. Boyle: (Whispering) I think the sales person swindled her. Sales Rep: Do you have any particular color in mind? Ms. Boyle: Anything but red! Sales Rep: Well Ms. Boyle, I think we have the perfect car for you. Let’s look over here at our newest model, the Lightning. Ms. Boyle: Gee that looks nice. Small, so I can park it, and I

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What to Say & How to Say it!

Avoid a Disconnect

“The key is to demonstrate how the benefits of your product and service help to solve a particular need for your customer.”

As we’ve discussed, you need to focus equally on the features and benefits. However, it’s also important to demonstrate how the benefits of your product and service help to solve a particular need or problem your customer may have. Read the following scenario and see if you can determine when the sales person fails to do this and loses the sale to Ms. Boyle. Sales Rep: Good Afternoon. Welcome to Auto World! Ms. Boyle: Hello. Sales Rep: How can I help you? Ms. Boyle: Well, I’m in the market for a new car. The last one I bought in 1994 seems tired, so I thought I’d look around. Sales Rep: Well, you’ve come to the right place. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions Miss… Ms. Boyle: My name is Ms. Boyle. I’m a retired schoolteacher. Sales Rep: Ms. Boyle, tell me about the driving you typically do. Ms. Boyle: Mostly just short trips around town. I fly or take the train on longer trips. Those fast cars on the interstates are more than an 68 year-old can handle.

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Help! I'm in Sales  

Self-help marketing guide that is geared to the newbie small business owner.

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