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Benefit Selling

How are you defining Benefit Selling in your sales training? - by Thomas
Benefit selling is that which provides an outcome to the client in the terms they desire. Benefits are the desire for a client to receive an outcome.

Hope that assists.

Drew - by Drew Stevens
Great question, Thomas.

I prefer the term "presenting benefits," as this is a presentation tool (as distinguished from a needs assessment methodology or a closing methodology).

A "benefit" is what a product or feature does for the customer, as opposed to merely what the product is. A feature is merely a fact about a product or service. Many salespeople present features but, in error, in my opinion.

Presentations are always better and more effective when tailored to the specific needs and desires of the prospect. Having said that, there is information about a product or service that is valuable to the prospect, so should be shared during the presentation. - by Skip Anderson
Thanks Drew and Skip. To qualify as a Benefit does it have to be tied to an admitted need? - by Thomas
Most Products or Services have many Benefits however not every Prospect or every Client will need to hear about each of them. During your Qualifying it's critical to find their needs so you only cover those Benefits in your Presentation that could fill a Need instead of wasting time and possibly blowing the Sale by educating them with everything they ever wanted to know about your Product or Service.
- by Stan Billue
If the product or service doesn't benefit the customer, than why would they want to purchase it? Customers buy solutions to their problems, things they perceive will make their life easier, etc. As Skip said, a product/service can have many benefits. It's identifying and presenting the ones your client needs that will make the sales. In other words, all presentations shouldn't be the same. First do your discovery and then present the benefits you product provides that are important to that particular client. - by GerryMyers
If the product or service doesn't benefit the customer, than why would they want to purchase it?
Thank you Gerry. To qualify as a Benefit does it have to be tied to an admitted need? - by Thomas
"Selling is getting someone to take action that they believe is in their best interest to do and pay me my price". That is how I define selling.

People will take action to resolve or overcome a problem or for pleasure. Pleasure selling has more 'guilt' resistance. Prospects could have some internal voice telling him, 'I don't really need this' or 'There are other things we need more' or 'What will my spouse say'....or many more items.

For people to take action to overcome a problem or to avoid having a problem occur in the future, they have to understand that a product will resolve the issue they face. If they become comfortable and learn to trust you, they can have a basis to believe that your service will take care of their problem.

Many times you don't even have to make a formal presentation.

Many times a salesperson has 'over educated a prospect' and lost the sale.

Sell Today, Educate Tomorrow. - by Paulette Halpern
Thanks Drew and Skip. To qualify as a Benefit does it have to be tied to an admitted need?

I have always taught that yes the benefit does need to tie back to the need. Benefits are the value the client receives so you want to ensure your benefit matches the desired value. And, your benefit must incite emotion. Facts make people think but clients act on emotion. Ensure success with a benefit that stirs emotion.

Best - by Drew Stevens
Thank you Paulette and Drew. thmbp2; - by Thomas
Thanks
In response to your question, "to qualify as a benefit, does it have to be tied to a need?"
Not necessarily in the beginning, but it should by the end of the sales process. A benefit that doesn't fit the client's needs is probably a feathure, not a benefit, at least to that particular customer.
However, oftentimes clients don't fully understand what they need, and if that is the case, it is your job to help them understand all their needs, and the benefits your product or service offers. - by GerryMyers
Thomas, in the B2B world, benefits become clear while probing for needs. Everyone in the thread seems to have made this point but the newbies frequently overlook opportunities to uncover truly meaningful benefits.

I can count myself in this class when I was in my early days: It was a function a newbies' virtual discomfort with what transpires in a business. My inability to tie-in (to benefits) that which was going on in the business. I think I "broke through" when I approached FoodCorp's head office based on a reading (in the newspaper) about their declaration of profits. For the first time, I wasn't selling a copier to the CEO, rather, I was sheltering expenses from the tax man!

My point with respect to selling benefits: don't assume that the obvious/easy benefits are the only ones! Get inside their business and they'll love you for it ...

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Thanks Drew and Skip. To qualify as a Benefit does it have to be tied to an admitted need?
No, it doesn't always have to be tied to an admitted need, but it's often more powerful if it is.

If you're interested in buying a pencil, but you've never seen an eraser on the end of the pencil before, you have no awareness of your need for an eraser because it is out of the realm of your understanding. But if I present the feature (the eraser) to you with the benefit of the eraser (i.e., not having to carry an erasing device along with your pencil), you will decide if that benefit is important to you. I can find out by asking, "how do you feel about this eraser on the end of the pencil" after my presentation of the features and benefits.

For many customers, the benefit will resonate, for others it won't, but you'd be foolish to not present the feature and the benefit to your prospect, imo.

Skip - by Skip Anderson
I'll be deliberately controversial here:

I don't do benefits selling at all.

Now admittedly, my clients and I sell services rather than products - so "features/benefits" doesn't fit so well.

But even so, I don't really live in a world of benefits or even needs. As a customer it all feels rather artificial and divorced from my real life.

In business life, me, my clients, their clients - we have problems and we have goals we want to achieve. Mainly we have problems to be honest!

I buy solutions to those problems. I buy neither features, nor benefits - I buy the thing that best solves my problem.

It seems to me that "benefits" are a strange, artificial way of phrasing what is actually a solution to a client's problem.

But benefits seem to take on a life of their own. A product "has" certain benefits. These seem to be concrete, unchanging, absolute things.

Yet a solution changes evey time - because every customer's problem is different.

Now this might seem like a trivial thing - just a different way of using language. But I feel it also affects the sellers mindset.

In a problem-solution world it's my job to find out what your problem is and then sell you a solution that exactly solves that problem.

In a benefits world it's my job to convince you that the benefits of my product will be good for you.

Maybe I'm just mad though....

Ian - by ianbrodie
The features and benefits of your product and service will help the salesperson, when they make their presentation. However, talking features and benefits "too early" as a 'show and tell', won't necessarily close the sale FOR YOU.

Most salespeople 'hear' a problem a customer has and because he knows the 'features and benefits' of his product have solved that problem for other customers....start presenting.

But EACH customers 'real problem is different'. The customer rarely admits his real issue, early in the conversation.

Salespeople are uncomfortable really getting to know what the customers problem is; maybe it is 'equipment downtime, which led to production delays, which led to forced overtime (when the replacement product arrived) to meet a deadline......but that problem really is 'profitability'.

Problem resolution (but uncovering the real business problem, not just the initial surface problem) is what will help the prospect see you as the solution to his 'problem'. - by Paulette Halpern
A paradox exists in the comparatives of feature and benefit.

In spite of the almost universally accepted view that people buy benefits, not features, people will most often justify their purchases by referencing features.

Next time someone tells you about something they bought, listen closely and you will hear it. - by Ace Coldiron
How are you defining Benefit Selling in your sales training?
Benefit Selling. What am I selling to my clients anyway? I've heard of features and benefits all my life and wondered exactly how that really applies to most clients.

I sell insurance... what are the features... well waiver of premium, settlement options, interest options, bonus options, convertibility and such are all possibly considered features, but then you could consider them benefits if you needed them, but I have rarely ever discussed a settlement option with a client... more likely it was along the lines of what plans do you have for you kids education, do you plan on keeping this home or buying a new one, if you died yesterday, what three things would you want to take care of... or if you were involved in an automobile accident or a plane crash, how much would your estate be asking for compensation? Would the need for that figure be any different if you had a heart attack?

Is providing cash a benefit or is the fact that you can get it from me at a discount the benefit? Is providing cash and filling a need a benefit? Is a solution a benefit? It would seem to be wouldn't it?

Aloha.... shds; - by rattus58
"Admitted need" is an interested phrase. Benefits (which weren't "admitted") can be uncovered with the use of good probing skills.

Having probed to the "Nth" degree, gotten agreement on the best possible configuration, it could well be that the offering has "sold itself". So, when you add a creative financing package (for example), you may have created a benefit which wasn't on the table throughout the discussion.

Benefits which will not be realized immediately are frequently described after the fact.

I make the point only because it's easy for junior SR's to fall into the trap of "firing all their ammo" in the first 10 minutes and latching onto "admitted needs".

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
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