"People buy on emotion. It's your job as the salesperson to trigger those emotions to create interest. Interest=opportunity."
Initial Benefit Statement: An explanation of what you are offering, what it means and why anyone should care - in the exact opposite order
Why should someone consider buying your product? Why should they take the time to hear you out, let alone meet with you?
If you don't believe in your product or your services, no one else will. But believing in what you offer goes beyond having a good mental mindset. Being able to articulate in a clear, concise manner is essential to succeeding in sales.
You must be able to state your initial benefit statement as a universal message. Having a "scripted" commercial explaining how you can help others from the onset is critical to your success.
If you door knock, state your initial benefit to receptionists and secretaries. Why else should they help you get in the door to speak with the person in charge? If you are at a networking event, your initial benefit statement should intrigue others so they will chat with you rather than move on to the next attendee.
When you speak on the phone for the first time to someone, tell them why they should care. How do you know they are the secretary?
If you were from Publisher's Clearing House and your job was to visit businesses to give them checks for $1 million, do you think top company executives would stop what they are doing to speak with you for a moment? It would depend on what you say.
If you say to the first person you meet, "I'd like to speak to So-and-So," without identifying who you were and your purpose, it would be hard to get an audience with a top executive. Wouldn't it?
Identify what you have in your arsenal, what you physically offer.
For instance, at TBN Sales Solutions, our offerings include customized sales training, individual sales coaching, writing of sales business plans and training manuals, and our sales book. We establish structures and procedures in all facets of the sales process.
Some might say "customized" training or "establishing structures" are benefits. But these are merely types of services. While other companies offer generic training to the general public, ours are mostly private programs designed specifically for a particular audience and company.
In any sales opportunity three outcomes are possible, not two:
The prospect can either buy your service, buy your competition's service, or do nothing - and make no change.
The advantage is why your feature will make their current situation better than it was before- from the salesperson's perspective.
A critical difference between advantages and benefits is that an advantage is your interpretation of why a feature is better, not the prospect's.
For instance, an advantage of TBN establishing structures is that now salespeople can control their own destiny.
While some may ask if that's a benefit, who says controlling your own destiny is always a good thing? Sure, we think it is, but perhaps a larger company has a system in place, where they don't want salespeople thinking for themselves, crazy as it sounds.
Benefits answers the age old questions customers ask, "What's in it for me?"
A benefit is how your product will help your customers. It's a "translation" of the features and advantages to fit the individual prospect.
Knowing and being able to verbalize benefits of your product separates you from your competition.
Knowing benefits makes you a professional, not just another salesperson. For instance, the benefit of each of our features at TBN is three fold:
Increase commissions for salespeople
Increase profits for businesses
Impact the bottom line
There is a fourth element, to the initial benefit statement that largely gets ignored when salespeople deliver the elevator pitch. This is known as, “Who you are selling to.”
The concept that, “everyone is a potential client” is simply a fallacy. Everyone is not a client. Sure, it would be rare for a salesperson to walk away from business, should the opportunity be there. But the key is to know what you are and to know what you are not. Then the next key is to tell the prospect that exact scenario. The ideal client is also not just for positioning your company to prospects, but when you are seeking referrals, as well.
What’s critical about your ideal client is it is just that: ideal. Now some salespeople express concern they are selling themselves short if they say the ideal client to a prospect who does not fit that criteria, but recognize the fact you don’t know anything about this prospect. They are just that a prospect.
Too often salespeople mix and match steps in the sales process. At this stage, when you deliver your initial benefit statement, you are looking for opportunities – to qualify potential clients and exclude non-potential clients.
For instance, you may ask, “Well, what if I say, I impact the bottom line for emerging businesses and they are a Fortune 500 company? Then I hurt my chances.” One small factor you forgot to mention is that if you really impact the bottom line for emerging businesses, then why would you work with a Fortune 500 company?
It’s like saying you sell long distance phone service, but gosh, they need local phone service. Are you going to create a local phone service company?
Know what you are. Know what you are not.
1. Write 10 features of your product and company
2. Write 10 advantages of these features
3. Write 10 benefits of these advantages
4. Write 10 characteristics of your ideal client
Compile them into an initial benefit statement:
"TBN Sales Solutions increases commissions for salespeople and profits for businesses through customized training, coaching and consulting. We establish structures and procedures in all facets of the sales process, through workshops and individual sales coaching, to teach reps to control their own destiny, to impact the bottom line."
People can't be interested in what they don't know exists.
Todd Natenberg, President, TBN Sales Solutions, is the author of the book, "I just got a job in sales. Now what?" A Playbook for Skyrocketing Your Commissions. TBN Sales Solutions increases commissions for salespeople and profits for businesses through customized training, coaching and consulting. They establish structures and procedures in all facets of the sales process, through classroom workshops and individual sales coaching, to teach reps to control their own destiny, to impact the bottom line. Visit www.toddnatenberg.com for more information. Todd can be reached at 866-464-0339 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.