Avoid the Feature Dump

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SALES SUCCESS requires leading with the RIGHT QUESTIONS,

rather than the WRONG ANSWERS . . .

Imagine a dump truck backing into the space of a well-maintained driveway. Before the homeowner can think about where they want to put the contents or even if the service has everything they need, the dump truck empties. This would not only be very frustrating to the homeowner, it wouldn’t be beneficial to the owner of the truck. The same is true in a sales situation when a salesperson dumps a tone of information, facts, figures, on on a potential customer before getting to know them. Unfortunately, a sale may be lost before it even has a chance because the customer gets overwhelmed and simply walks away.

No matter what you are selling, you need to avoid dumping all of your information, benefits, and contents on your buyer at the first point of contact (or EVER for that matter).  Instead focus on the specific needs of the customer by using these 5 tips to avoid the “feature dump.”

Ask Questions

In order to provide the best solutions, be prepared to ask A LOT of questions. It is best to start with open ended questions (can NOT be answered with “yes” or “no”) to really get a grip on why the customer is looking for the product or service in the first place. The goal here is to build rapport and show  you are interested in what the customer needs to buy, not just what you want to sell. Some examples of good open ended initial meeting questions would be:

  • How can I help you?
  • What has you interested in _______?
  • What are you looking for in a ________?
  • Which features of the_________ are going to be most important to you?

Questions like these allow you to gather more information about your customer’s needs, making more accurate presentation choices. Getting as much information as possible also gives you more opportunities to sell and build rapport.

Establish Needs

Instead of focusing on the best features a general audience may be interested in, find two or three that would really help your customer. Asking the right questions up front, will give you a clear indication of which benefits best meet the needs of each unique customer. Get in the habit of using the term “need” in your presentation. For example, “It sounds like you NEED to reliable trade partner to help you with this project.”

Sell Benefits Not Features

After establishing the key needs, relate each feature to the customer. This is also a good time to mirror the communication style and word choice of the customer. By using language they find comfortable and familiar you will start to build trust in the process. This allows a more personal connection.

Build Trust

Research shows that all customers are looking for products and services provided by people they can trust. (Click here to go to Build Trust to Build Your Business). We build trust by providing honest information, using third party testimonials, and taking a sincere interest in providing a solution to the customer’s specific need.

Keep It Simple

Keeping information easy to understand can be difficult, especially when you are working in a business with hundreds of parts and pieces. Instead of presenting your customer with a lot of complex or technical information, relate every benefit to them. Explain everything in easy-to-understand terms. Not only will this help them gain a better understanding of what you are offering, it will allow them to keep up with your pace. Provide what they need to make an informed decision. Don’t bury them in facts and figures that may not pertain specifically to their goals.

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Lynne Jensen-Nelsojensen 4120basicn, founder of Conversion-omics Speakers & Consultants is a highly sought after keynote speaker and business strategist. She’s earned numerous honors including National Sales Leadership Champions Circle, Platinum Award for Distinguished Sales Leadership, and BPW-Woman of the Year. She is known for action packed presentations and immediately applicable strategies to increase sales and improve customer experience. 

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