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Sales Consulting and Training:

What’s In It For Me?:

Using Features, Advantages and Benefits

One of the most common mistakes found in the world of selling is that some people have a tendency to throw out information about a product or service without tying that information to the essential needs of the client. In general, a person might do a “feature dump”, talking about all the great things about product X or service Y without enabling a customer to see what it means to them. Ultimately, prospects and existing clients consistently want to know, “what’s in it for me?”

It is your duty to make it abundantly clear what is in it for a client. We have found that the most effective way to do this is by utilizing benefit statements. These are statements that paint a picture for your client as to why your product or service is the most effective means to meet their particular needs

Specifically, benefit statements are powerful because:

  • When setting direction with a client, a benefit statement will point out the ever-important “what’s in it for me?” from the outset.
  • They enable you to build value and positively influence your client throughout the body of your sales call.
  • When providing a recommendation to a client, a benefit statement puts your solution into real terms.

We promote benefit statements called FAB statements throughout the sales process.  What is a FAB statement and how is it organized?

F for Feature – What is the feature

A for Advantage – What does the feature do

B for Benefit – The “What’s in it for me?” for the customer

As you meet with your customers and find out about their priorities and specific requirements, the information they provide you will enable you to use FAB statements to positively influence the sale.  What you are doing is making the buying process straightforward for the client.  Rather than imposing on the client by making them translate the value in your product or service, you are spelling it out for them.  This clarifies the process and puts you one step closer to a “yes”.  The FAB takes what your product and ties it into PPI – Productivity, Profitability and Image.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of how FAB statements can be used in the field:

Customer #1
Director, Facilities at a Property Management Company

“We’ve simply paid too much money over the years trying to maintain a poorly installed roofing system on our three properties.  One of our buildings is the headquarters of a major telecommunications firm, our largest tenant.  They are livid when the roof leaks during a heavy downpour.  We need a long-term solution, not a temporary band-aid.”

Feature: Our PermaShield solution utilizes a high-density coating and is warrantied for thirty years.

Advantage: PermaShield eliminates leakage and adheres to surface imperfections and seals cracks and crevices.

Benefit: “This allows you to increase profitability by lowering maintenance costs while ensuring your tenants are satisfied that their offices are free from leaks.”

Customer #2
CIO at a Staffing Agency Corporate Headquarters

“Just last week, I was told by our existing telecommunications provider that we would have to wait sixty days to get an additional T3 provisioned.  Sixty days!  In the meantime, I have eighty employees calling and sending me e-mails complaining about the network.  It takes them longer to get their work done because our network is slow!”

Feature: “We have one of the most extensive fiber networks in the city with direct connection to your office park.”

Advantage: “With such an extensive build-out, we can provision a T3 to your offices in as little as three weeks.”

Benefit: “This means that your wait time is decreased drastically and your employees will be able to be more productive 60% faster than by working with your traditional telecommunications provider.”

Customer #3
Vice President of Community Affairs at a Fortune 500 Company

“Our concern is that the community does not really consider us to be a local company since our headquarters is here but the bulk of our employees are elsewhere. Some people have heard of us but, for the most part, our name is not out there. We need to build brand recognition while reinforcing the fact that we want to be a good corporate citizen and responsible member of the community.”

Feature: “As a Diamond Level sponsor of this year’s charity event, you will be a featured sponsor in all of our events.”

Advantage: “This enables you to take part in our media day and to have your company name and logo on all event signage, literature, advertisements and event giveaways.”

Benefit: “The community will see you standing alongside other local Diamond Level sponsors for the event and will recognize your company as a member of the community that cares about our city’s well-being.”

Each FAB ties in the customer’s specific concern into how your product or service will be of specific benefit to them. Practice writing your own FABs so that you can be prepared for your next sales call.

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