Sales – Beyond FAB. How can you really prove your product’s worth to clients?
Sales, the best job ever. A total rollercoaster of emotions where one day everything you touch turns to gold and the next you can barely sell anything, then it all comes back again…amazing. Sales people have such a tremendous gift don’t they? The ability to persuade people to part with their money; just think about that for a moment. I always say to my delegates, “If you can sell, you will never starve.”
The FAB Express
For years sales people have been trained to use the classic feature advantage benefit mechanism, with the saying that ‘features tell and benefits sell’. This has served sales people very well, myself included.
Feature – By using our platform, you will be reaching the largest possible readership
Advantage – That means you are promoting your service to a brand new market
Benefit – Therefore this is maximising your chance to make more money.
Yet is it enough?
In 2018 sales people need every bit of support and help they can, as clients become more and more savvy to sales techniques. This is where the need to prove and back up your benefits comes into play. You see selling benefits is terrific until a client calls you out with a question like this. “You say that I will be reaching the largest possible readership and that this is going to help me reach more people and make more money, but how do you know that is true?”
This is where we see FAB start to wobble, we need to do is add on what I call SIP.
S =Substantiate the benefit
I = Initiate a response
P = Prove the claim
Let’s take the question from the client again.
“You say that I will be reaching the largest possible readership and that this is going to help me reach more people and make more money, but how do you know that is true?”
Using SIP to support the FAB
Substantiate statement – “You mentioned to me that you want to reach a new large audience of specialist developers, and we have worked with companies just like yours in size/sector/need such as XXX, YYY or ZZZ and they have been with us for around XXX period of time.”
Initiate Response “Now to ensure you trust what I am saying, and that is important to you, yes?”
Prove the claim “I want to share with you a testimonial/report/white paper/results of research that clearly proves and demonstrates the results and effectiveness of our offering to them and therefore what we could do for you.”
Follow with a close
“Does that answer your question? If so would you be happy to go ahead and draw up the contract?”
It is so important in today’s markets to be able to back up what you are saying, it is not enough to create features or facts that really cannot be backed with their provenance or source.
To enable this to happen, when speaking to clients, listen to what they want and drill down into why this is important to them. Then ensure that you have researched the full impact of what you are selling and how it may affect growth and development in their business. By doing this you will uncover the true value of what you offer and this will help to create relevance to the client and bring about true sales collaboration based on proof and evidence that will back up what you do.
Your Starting Point
The power of testimonials is an easy place to start gaining evidence of what you offer, nothing offers social proof more effectively that a testimonial. My own business has over 200 client testimonials that I call on when I SIP a client, over 170 of these are on my LinkedIn profile. They are so powerful. So if you work with great clients, have a super trustworthy relationship as them the pen a few words, then watch your features and benefits come alive and those sales come in.
Good luck and SIP the success.