Hopefully by now you’re aware of the feature/benefit technique commonly used during a sales presentation.
Maybe along the way, someone has told you to not just share the features of your product or service, but to also clearly explain the benefits of each to really connect the buyer with what you’re selling.
Well, that is true, but you’re only half way there. Whether you’re selling to an individual consumer or a business, it’s important that you capture the emotional side of your buyer.
To help paint this picture in your mind, we’ll share one of our favorite fictional stories that is sure to drive this point home—even if you’ve heard this one before, it’s worth the read:
A college grad, we’ll call him Vincent, counted up his money he earned during summer jobs and birthdays, and he started his search for a car. Now that he graduated college, it was time to go get a real job and he would need a car to get to work each day.
With $3,000 to his name, Vincent went out to the dangerous world of used car lots to see what he could afford. He narrowed his choices down to two red coupes virtually identical with two exceptions—price and air-conditioning. The car without A/C would cost him exactly $3,000, and the one with A/C would require a $3,000 down payment and $100/ month for 18 months.
His sales person was working hard to explain the benefits to Vincent of the more expensive car and that with summer approaching, he needed the A/C to keep him cool. Even after a spectacular display of feature/benefit, Vincent’s response was still the same, “I don’t have a real job yet, and I only have $3,000.” So the salesperson did what any of us would have done, and brought over his manager.
After learning the background story from the salesperson and asking Vincent the right questions and actively listening to his version directly, the sales manager was able to put himself into Vincent’s shoes and start using emotions to help Vincent make a decision.
The sales manager said something like this, “Vincent, I’ve been in your shoes before and looking for your first job after college is one of the most important steps you’ll make. Either of these cars will play a big role in that step, and we’re honored to be part of this chapter in your life. Now, imagine yourself driving to an interview with no A/C. It’s hot, so you roll the windows down to stop the sweating. Instantly, copies of your resume and prepared questions start flying around, so you crack the windows a little to stop the wind but still get a breeze. By the time you get to your interview, you’re sweating, you’re trying to organize your documents, and you’re too nervous to show off how perfect you are for the job.
With A/C, well, you’ll get there looking sharp and prepared, and my guess is, when you land your first job, you’ll be earning a lot more than a hundred dollars a month extra than your part-time job flipping burgers.”
In emotional selling, it’s about the end result, the feeling of satisfaction or conquer that your customer will have with your product or service—not about the bells and whistles. Take a look at your sales presentation outline, are you helping your customers see how your offering will affect their life or their business, or are you just talking about the features and benefits?