Working in sales can be a minefield. High pressure, limited time, strong competition, bad press, you can be flavor of the month one month yet tossed to a side the next.
It can be even harder when you’re trying to sell technical products to average Joe who hasn’t got a degree in advanced mathematics. So how can you make selling easier for yourself, no matter how technical the product is?
Think F.A.B …
Features, Advantages and Benefits.
The FAB sales principal says that a great way to improve your chance of a sale is to work out the features of the item/service you’re selling (these are usually facts about the product itself), then work out what the advantages of these features are and most importantly how they will benefit the customer.
An example of this could be some new tires:
Feature – Brand new all-weather tires
Advantage of the feature – Giving you better grip on the road, no matter the weather
Benefit to the customer – You and your family stay safe on the roads
Then lead with this benefit to sell your product to customers in your sales (or marketing) spiel –
‘Hi Joe, make sure you and your family stay safe on the roads this winter (benefit), with our brand new all-weather tires (feature), giving you better grip on the road, no matter the weather (advantage).’
Here are 4 reasons why you should be using FABs every time you sell –
1. People are selfish!
Think about the last time you bought something, why did you buy it? You may not even realize it but I can guarantee it was to benefit yourself. Every time we buy something we buy it based on how it’s going to benefit us, whether it’s a new car (we buy it, fundamentally to save time getting from point a to point b compared to walking), a new cellphone (we buy it to stay connected with people when we’re out and about and can’t shout to them!) or some toilet roll (we buy it to stay clean and safe).
If you look at a product and have to work hard at trying to work out why you should buy it then the company selling it to you isn’t doing a very good job. You should always sell someone the benefits of your product instead. E.g. It will get you somewhere fast, it will make you more money, it will keep you safe, it will save you time.
2.People are busy!
We live in a fast-paced world, full of distractions. A world of YouTube, Tinder, fast food, TV programs you can fast forward and boxsets available in an instant. We even get annoyed when some stupid company makes us watch a 5 second advert before we can watch our favorite cat video… how dare they make us wait, I want to see Tiddles getting her head stuck in a fish bowl now!
So, when we sell to people we need to instantly tell them why you deserve their attention and you need to tell them now!
We need to lead with what the benefits of your product or service are for them and not just shout out a load of features the product has, very few people buy off advantages and even less will buy based on features.
3. People are stupid!
Ok that’s a little bit harsh but everything is getting easier for us to do, the way we pay for things (contactless payments), the way we make food (microwaves), the way we read maps (sat navs), even the way we work (email and Skype vs hand written letters and long distance meetings). We love an easy life!
So, if your potential customer has to work out why they should buy your product, it’s highly unlikely you will make a sale.
As a general rule, never leave your prospects asking, ‘so what?’ If they have to ask, ‘so what?’ then you haven’t told them the benefit and they won’t buy from you.
Using the example from our introduction –
Seller – “Hey Bruce. Buy my product, our brand new all-weather tires.”
Customer – “So what?”
Seller – “It will give you better grip on the road, no matter the weather.”
Customer – “So what?”
Seller – “You and your family stay safe on the roads.”
Customer- “So wh … oh wait, no I’m not a monster, I get that, sold!!”
Once you have got to the point where a potential customer no longer needs to ask, ‘so what?’ you have sold them the benefit.
4.People are simple!
When you break down what drives a person to do something, we really are a simple species. You could argue all our purchases are driven by either money, time, health, fear, love or the ability to solve a problem.
Therefore, using the FAB principle to sell to someone based on what drives them as a person can pay dividends.
Take the new iPhone X as an example. One of its many features is that it has ‘an ƒ/1.8 six-element lens, optical image stabilization (OIS), and a 12MP sensor’. This sounds impressive (who doesn’t love a ƒ/1.8 six-element lens right?!) but probably won’t cause too many people to run to buy it.
Even the advantage that it ‘gives you a larger, faster, better camera then existing phones’ may still leave you wondering ‘so what?’
People will buy the benefit instead though that it ‘captures better quality pictures of the moments you love’, this will resonate with peoples love for taking pictures and/or help them solve them the problem of their existing camera phone being of poor quality.
That’s why using the FAB principle to sell is so important. People buy benefits.
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