Sales Training – Rainmaking: Is it a Feature or a Benefit? How do you know?#1

Is it a Feature or a Benefit? How do you know ?

This came up again last week in a Sales Training workshop.
This time to a group of experienced business advisors.
Mostly Grey-Hairs, like me ?

We were on the Workshop session called Building your Compelling Business case…

There was lots of push back voiced as
“You don’t understand”
“People buy from people”
“They’ve got to trust you to go on the journey with them”
“It’s not just about the numbers”
“You can’t ask these kind of questions because they won’t know the answers” …

I have to say that for most of it I did say that I was in “Violent Agreement” …

However I did stand my ground and we agreed that at some point in the buying selling process that there is a “Weigh-In”
In the red corner is the COSTS AND RISKS to the business of going ahead with the project.
In the blue corner there are the BENEFITS to the business of going ahead…

Our job, I would suggest, is to help them and us to QUICKLY assess whether the Blue outweighs the Red…

If the Red outweighs the Blue then we need to move on quickly.
Why? Because unless TAMO selling is your trade (Then A Miracle Occured) your chances of success are low.
You will need to find a new prospect because this one won’t give you the deal you seek.

A little on Features VS Benefits
Working definitions…
A feature is a fact, detail, or description about your services.
A benefit is the positive result your client achieves from working with you.

Simple? Hmmmm Sometimes features sound suspiciously like benefits.

A few examples:
An IT consultant: He says “I help small businesses that are losing time and money due to computer problems.”
Sounds like a benefit. Looks like a benefit. It has money and time in the sentance..
Ahhhh NO it’s actually just a description of the consultant’s target market: businesses with computer problems.
That’s a feature of the consultant’s business.

A graphic designer: “I produce creative and attractive logos, business cards, and brochures.”
Should be obvious. It’s describing a feature…

A management consultant says “We conduct Strategy Planning Workshops using the Rainmaker Accelerate Process”
Describing the process they will use rather than the results is often a trap fallen into by services focused people …
Sorry again, this is a feature.

Is there ever a time to talk about features?
Certainly. Describing features can help you attract the right clients and let them know you have what they are seeking.
A copywriter who specializes in direct mail and ad copy should say so to distinguish himself from someone who writes primarily for websites and brochures.
An accountant who primarily serves business clients rather than individuals should make that clear.
But once you’ve covered the basics of who you serve and what you provide, it’s time to tell your prospects what they’ll get from working with you.

Ok Ok tell me then what is a benefit?
I believe that a Benefit can only come in 5 forms and answers these questions…

1. To what extent does what you do result in your client growing their revenues?
Finding new markets?
Getting to market quicker?
Getting to more prospects sooner?

2. By how much does what you do typically result in your client reducing their cost per transaction?
(Their costs may go up but their costs of processing an order etc should decrease)
Could they get more use out their assets?
Can they produce more with less effort?

3. In what way does what you do typically increase your clients employees productivity and engagement in the business
Can their employees do things faster (Pen vs Computer?)
What processes can be automated / Done away with?

4. In what way does what you will do with your client enable them to satisfy the needs of their clients?
Happier employees deliver better service to clients who become loyal and buy more at a lower cost of sales…

5. How do you enable your client to be compliant with the law of the land / Standards in place at the time?
Sarbannes-Oxley in the accounting world.
Disability access to buildings in offices

Don’t miss next times exciting episode when we give you a real example of a case of Benefits….

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