Huh, what?

I know… I know!  That’s what we’ve learned in sales school: to “sell the benefits, NOT the features”.

“Sell the benefits” is a phrase that’s been drilled into my brain ever since I’ve started in sales.

And it makes sense, right?

So what am I talking about?

Hear me out…

Years ago, I was pitching my website development service to a spa owner when I realized that the prospect didn’t know what she needed.

She didn’t know what a “fresh and easy-to-manage website” can do for her business. Selling her a “maintenance free” website was useless since she didn’t even have a website and thus really didn’t care about maintaining something she didn’t have. Telling her all the benefits of having a website was not REAL to her.

But easy-to-maintain websites was the key benefit of working with me. It was how I differentiated myself from other website designers.

Then I remembered this quote:

“Sell them what they want, not what they need.”

So I quickly switched gears and asked her:

“What do you do when you arrive at work Monday morning, and 60% of your week’s appointments have cancelled and you are looking at a bleak week ahead?”

Her answer: “Panic!”

“Well… you don’t have to panic. With a website that comes with a marketing plan and sales funnel, you can calmly type up a nice promo and send it to your database. Then you can log into  your website’s back end, and post your special promo that goes out to all your past and current customers. Then ask your staff to share them online through social media and bam! You got yourself a daily promotion. I’ve done this before and every time I send an e-mail to my list, I get 3-5 more clients instantly. “

“Holy shamolly, sister! Now I am listening!”  She screamed.

The lesson?

Your customer may not know what they need until you point out the symptoms or show them what’s possible.

Sometimes, your customers don’t THINK they have a need until it’s presented to them in a way that makes sense to them.

Steve Jobs was quoted to have said:

“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

And he is not alone in this belief.

Henry Ford has also famously said:

“If I’d asked people what they wanted, they’d have said faster horses.”

Key takeaways:

  1. Identify who your ideal client or customer is and the problems they are struggling with.
  2. Translate the problems into identifiable symptoms that will resonate with them.  Use words they are using that identify with the problem.
  3. Ask questions using these symptoms and listen to their answers.
  4. Position your service or product to help them deal with the problems.

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