Typical sales trainers say the following:

  • Features don’t sell
  • Benefits do

As I’m trained in Business Psychology and how the mind works, I’m here to take that statement to the next level:

  • Benefits don’t sell
  • Benefits the customer cares about sell!

Think about it for a second. Do you typically buy something because it provides you with a benefit or because it provides you with a benefit you actually care about?

I’m sure we’ve all bought something that we didn’t need because we thought it was cool or fell for the marketing hype; however that’s not how we always make our buying decision. At least I hope not!

We typically buy something because it provides benefits we care about, benefits that solve our actual needs, wants, desires, or pains.

Most salespeople talk about features and benefits they think the customer might care about; it’s mostly features and benefits important to the salesperson not necessarily the customer’s needs and wants. They then spend time explaining those features and benefits leading to customer confusion and talking themselves out of a sale. They actually overload the customer with TOO MUCH INFORMATION; therefore resulting in not selling the product/service.

Instead they must focus on the features and benefits the customer cares about and spend less time (if any at all) on the features and benefits that are NOT of interest to the customer.

I’ve recently become an iPhone user. I bought the iPhone for three reasons:

  • To check email on the go and in real-time
    • It has to have HTML capability
    • It has to be able to download and view various attachments
  • To have an up-to-date calendar
    • Sync up over-the-air with my Work Calendar (non-Exchange)
    • Sync up with Gmail Calendar
  • To be able to browse the internet with a real browser
    • I don’t like the limited browsers Microsoft or Blackberry phones provide

These reasons were so vital to me that I prematurely canceled my T-Mobile contract paying a $150+ cancellation charge, changing over to a new network AT&T, and having to get use to a new phone platform. I went through that much trouble because iPhone provided benefits that were really important to my business – staying in touch with my customers in real-time.

Now the iPhone does provide other goodies as well. It has iTunes, iPod, Photos, Games, etc; however I purchased it because it has the “benefits I care about”. If I had been in the Apple store and they talked about the cool touch pad, iPod/iTunes features, and the ability to take notes, I might have found all those features and associated benefits interesting but not really compelled to switch over my contract and go with a new phone. I did however choose the iPhone because the sales person took the time to understand my needs (email, calendar, internet), and spent time talking about those benefits. Everything else was gravy.

Take Away: Before any sale, make sure you understand the customer’s needs, wants, and desires. Make sure you also understand their pain as well. Then focus your conversation on those benefits alone; the benefits the customer cares about.

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