A question I always ask clients when I undertake the initial investigation into their sales development is ‘What do you sell?’
The usual answer is; ‘We sell so & so widgets or a service’.
Yes – Is my reply, but that is your product not what you sell. To which I usually get a look of disbelief.
So what do you sell?
Let me give you an example which I use (male in this case, apologies ladies).
You get home on Friday night and your wife/partner greets you with the statement – ‘the washing machine has finally broken we need a new one’
Great, you think- gone is the chance for a quiet weekend or some activity you had planned, with the dread of touring around all of the stores.
Now what is your other half looking for in a new washing machine – wash cycle, spin speeds etc.
Yes, but ultimately what’s required is clean clothes.
In sales training jargon: the spin speed etc are the features, the benefit is clean clothes.
So what you sell is the benefit or to phrase it differently ‘What it does for your customer’
Now look at your own product/service in that light and you will start to understand what your customer is looking for.
This is the next step I take with a client.
Get them to think about the benefits.
This can be undertaken by yourself or in a group brainstorming session.
The results, which you record, will have a wide effect on not just your direct selling activities, but also with your promotional material whether that is brochures or even your website.