Do You Know What You Are Selling?
The last issue of PowerTips was warmly received so I’ve asked Ted Dubin, our Director of Business Development, to continue on the subject of Sales. Ever wonder why you make what seems to be a great presentation but the clients don’t buy? Perhaps you haven’t told them the Benefit of buying from you!
What Are You Selling?
What do you sell?
Wood and Tile? Sinks and Tubs? Windows and Doors?
Rooms and Additions? Kitchens and Baths? Drywall and Paint? Decks or Basements?
Design-Build Services? Handyman Services? Property Management?
The Finest Materials? The Most Experienced Craftsmen? The Best Reputation in town?
You sell and deliver The Remodeling Experience. And the feelings that go with the Experience.
Sell the Experience
How ready are you and your staff to deliver a great Remodeling Experience?
OK, well the first part of delivering the Experience is SELLING the Experience.
What should you, the Sales Pro, say to prospective clients to differentiate yourself from those Remodelers that don’t even think about the Experience?
I’ve seen the answer explained many different ways. I best understand this concept by envisioning it in 3 distinct parts:
The Feature explains what it is, the Advantage explains what it does and the Benefit tells everyone why they need it.
Most of our PowerTips readers are awesome craftspeople. They do great work using the finest materials. Unfortunately, many are not yet Sales Pros. They are almost always thinking in terms of the project without envisioning how their presentation is received by the customer. Many will go through an entire sales or design appointment without ever mentioning the actual benefit of working with them. This is a huge mistake that costs money through lost jobs, frustration, and wasted time. It leaves even the best contractors open to price competition.
No One Cares
To begin to Sell the Experience you must first internalize this fact: No one really cares what you do or how you do it!
What matters to people is how it benefits them in the end. “We use high-quality materials!” Who cares? “We’ve been in business 30 years!” Who cares? “We seal and insulate everything and only install the finest windows!” Who the heck cares! Without more information these are meaningless phrases that waste everyone’s time and attention. The only thing that matters is the Benefit.
Big companies know and practice this already. Remember the Toyota ad slogan “Oh, what a feeling!”? Toyota went right to the important part of the pitch: the feeling you get when you buy their product. They didn’t waste time on “Toyota, Oh, what great light-alloy engine blocks!” or “Oh, what efficient manufacturing!” They went right to what’s important to the purchaser – the Experience.
Think about other commercials you’ve seen. Campbell’s Soup? Why, Campbell’s Soup is “Mmm mmm good!”. You don’t hear “Campbell’s Soup is chicken, flour, salt, and a few veggies in a can!”. Sometimes the actors in commercials for major consumer companies almost look like they’re having a party while using the product – think ladies shampoo or soft-drink commercials. I especially love those men’s razor commercials like Gillette’s: you learn about how the razor has 5 blades (Feature) which shaves you extra close (Advantage) but, near the end, there’s always a nice lady making admiring glances at the guy using the razor (Benefit – Oh boy!). You get the point.
So, what is the real benefit of going through the “Remodeling Experience” with you? Does your client get a great feeling of pride and satisfaction? Peace of mind that their house is strong and secure? A warm, cozy environment to raise their family in? You need to figure this out NOW so you can explain it explicitly to your clients if you want to succeed as a Sales Pro and stand apart from the lesser companies out there.
How to Apply This to Your Business
So, when you’re making a presentation to prospective clients, how do you know if you’ve gotten to the Benefit?
There is a 2-word test: the “So What?” test. If the person you are pitching can ask you a “So What” question, you haven’t presented any compelling Benefit:
“We keep the jobsite clean.” OK … So What?!
“We seal and insulate everything.” OK …So What?!
These statements are meaningless unless you tell the rest of the story.
When you present to your prospects make sure you go all the way through to the Benefit:
“We keep every jobsite clean so your home is orderly during the process which means you don’t have to worry about a mess or your family’s safety.”
“We seal and insulate everything which will keep the room cool in summer and warm in winter so your family will always be comfortable”
“We use the highest quality materials (Feature) so our work stands up to time and the harshest weather (Advantage) which means you never have to worry about your home (Aha! The Benefit)”
“We’ve been in business 30 years (Feature) which shows we’ve got lots of experience and many satisfied clients (Advantage) so you don’t have to ever be concerned about the people you let into your home (Benefit).”
Figure out what it is you REALLY sell, then, make a Feature, Advantage and Benefit chart. Use the list to test-pitch someone else – a staff member or friend – and have them ask you “So What?” till they can’t anymore. Once you’ve figured out what you really sell then Practice, Practice, Practice!
If you’re interested in improving your selling skills– a necessity in this economy–join our experts and a small group of your peers in a Strategic Action Group. Seats are limited so reserve your seat today!