In outbound selling, the salesperson goes out to sell his products and services. He does not wait for the customer or prospect to come to him; he goes out to create the sale. Since the salesperson has developed a cordial relationship with the prospect, the next stage is to identify his needs. This is what makes the sales to happen.
The more you identify the needs or wants of the prospect, the more you sell. Note that his needs are the things the prospects cannot do without, while his wants are things that are not so essential to him. He may want them, but he can also do without them. A prospect that is hungry will need food and want ice cream. A prospect that is thirsty will need water and want a soft drink. Knowing the distinction between needs and wants helps the salesperson in knowing how to navigate his sales activities. It helps to know the right questions to ask and the way to ask them.
Identifying the needs of the prospects is a function of knowing the prospects and knowing your products. You need to research the prospect to know his needs and the products that will bring the expected solutions. This is what I explained in Sales Intelligence where the salesperson uses data and information gathering to know more about the customer and how to sell to him.
The more you have information about the customer, the more you know how to sell to him. This is where questioning and listening – to discover the needs of the prospects is important. When you ask the prospect or customer the right questions, you will get the right answers that will help you to close the deal.
A prospect who has the intention to expand his business will likely be interested in the sales conversation when a sales professional from a bank asks questions about how the prospect would want his bank to help in expanding his business. Asking the right questions helps the salesperson to understand the prospect’s needs.
Without knowing what is driving the prospect, the salesperson cannot tell their story or effectively explain their product’s value. This is vital in the art of selling. Understanding what the prospect really needs helps in closing the sale.
When you ask the prospect questions, you should also listen to get the right feedback. Listening is a great skill in selling. When you listen effectively, you discover unknown things. Pay attention to the questions the prospect is asking. His questions are where his needs are hidden.
Make an inspiring presentation
The next stage in the sales process is to make your presentation. When you discover his needs, the next thing to do is to tell the prospect how your product or service will bring solutions to the identified needs. You communicate these solutions in your sales presentation.
The sales presentation is a demonstration of solutions. It is telling your stories. It is about demonstrating how your products will bring much-needed solutions to the prospect. It is about showing how and why your offering is the best deal for the prospect.
In a sales presentation, the element that closes the sale is the ability to show the prospect ‘‘What Is in It for Him” (WIIIFM). This means the benefit of the product. The benefit is the value the prospect sees in your products and services.
In selling, we say, “features tell, benefits sell”. The element that makes people to buy is the benefits in the offering. The more you show the benefits of the products, the more you sell. The prospect must understand the benefit, and the benefit must resonate with the buyer.
In the FAB (features, advantages and benefits) analysis, features are the things that make up the product; they are characteristics that a product or service has. Features are the attributes of the products. The advantage tells what the feature does, and how it helps. These are based on facts and are expressive but do not yet make a connection as to how they will make the prospect’s life better. For example: ‘‘By design, it keeps only the clearest picture of a similar set, and deletes the ones that are not needed. Your photo storage is reduced on average by 60 percent.’’
The benefit of the product is the result of that advantage, and it is why a prospect would eventually buy or use a product. The benefit provides an emotional hook point that you can leverage in helping the user or prospect visualize the positive experiences felt by using your product.
Remember what I explained in the fishing metaphor of selling where I likened the salesman to the fisherman? I said that just as the fisherman, the salesman needs the line, the hook, and the bait. The line represents the salesman’s selling skills, the hook represents his selling strategy, and the bait represents the benefits or attraction of the products or services. The bait is the benefit of the product that makes people buy. I posited in the fishing metaphor of selling that for a sale to happen, the three elements of the metaphor must be present in the sales presentation.
Using our previous example to express the benefit, we will have something like this: “If you don’t waste your time editing and can store more of your best photos, you will keep happier memories for a longer time.” Making reference to the case to communicate FAB statement in your presentation, it will go thus:
“We deploy an automated photo storage app that edits, selects and stores photos. By keeping only the clearest picture of a similar set and deleting the unwanted ones, your photo storage space is reduced on average by 60 percent. If you don’t waste your time editing and can store more of your best photos, you will keep happier memories for a longer time!”
The bait or benefit in this offering is ‘‘you will keep happier memories for a longer time.’’ This benefit becomes the selling point in your sales presentation. The salesperson must communicate this benefit professionally and believably.
George O. Emetuche, CES,
The Selling Champion Consulting Ltd presents 2022 Annual Masterclass.
Theme: Attaining Sales Excellence in a VUCA Economy.
Location, Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja Lagos, September 10,2022.
Toscana Hotel, Enugu, August 26,2022.
For more information please call, 07060559429, 08186083133, or visit, www.thesellingchampionconsulting.com.