Anyone involved in sales and marketing will know about features and benefits – a legacy of the 70′s/80′s and 90′s school of selling. Whilst the underpinning principle in my view is sound – today we find customers are more discerning, wanting for far more, often for less! Over the past few years I have been exploring how the old school of selling (F & B) can be fused with a more powerful channel to communicating propositions – this has led me to adding impact and evidence to the old ways of doing things. I believe that when we combine F and B with I and E an extremely intense message is emitted to customers. Next time you are in a sales situation think about:
Impact – can you validate to customers: return on investment (ROI), cost savings, efficiencies, when you can demonstrate impact in terms of facts and figures the credibility of your proposition is just positioned on a new level – for example if you are an advertising agency, can you show the impact of your services on the clients budget of £X will give a return of £5X
Evidence– telling the customer that you are great is superficial and generic – in the case of the advertising agency the evidence should be – the names of three clients that have benefited from the services and indeed the added value brought to bear. Such an approach to selling is clear – there is no ambiguity.
I have observed many businesses embrace this F.B.I.E model of selling and proposition marketing . It can be applied to telesales, web communications, pitches and any other form of business development. When you think in terms of FBIE your messages become crisper and to the point – more importantly they will resonate with the customers world – it shows you are bothered and its not just about getting a deal. Try it – it really does work!
Train yourself or your sales team on John’s ‘Principal of Selling’ with The Winning Sales Academy >>>
Some traditional sales philosophies tell us that we should keep following up leads, quotations and proposals till we get a “yes” or “no” answer. Similarly, we are advised that getting the desired meeting with a potential buyer requires up to nine calls/emails. My experience over twenty odd years of selling would tell me that if I have to ring someone more than three times they really don’t want anything to do with me. In selling it is so easy to cross the line from bringing value to being a pain in the backside. At the end of the day do any of us want to feel we are being a pest?
My preferred sales philosophy is based around embracing a mindset of bringing added value whether it be a request for a meeting or credentials presentation. If after three attempts to get a date in the diary no response is obtained I would rather move on. Why would I want to meet or speak to someone who does not want to speak to me?
It’s a bit like being in one of those awful networking sessions and you are speaking to an individual and they are totally ignoring what you are saying because they are looking for someone else they deem as being more important than you. Personally I would rather be somewhere else. Life’s too short to be spending time with people who are totally disinterested in what you have to say. Spend time with those where there is common ground – it’s far more satisfying, rewarding and indeed productive from a business development point of view.
I have spent so much time over the last number of years speaking and lecturing on the topic of “what great selling looks like”. Great selling for me is about:
– Finding problems and solving them
– Bringing added value that makes a difference
– Capturing the voice of the customer
– Living in the customer world
– Walking away if what you have does not align to the customer needs
We have seen so much non sense in my view over the years around objection handling and closing techniques – most of which I disagree with – trickery that aims to nobble people! Closing starts the minute you open your mouth – if you spend the duration of a meeting talking rubbish – I remain to be convinced that some form of magic wand termed as a closing technique will do the job. Sell from the heart and believe in what you are selling – the best sales people I have met just love their proposition. This love translates in to a passion – the ultimate sales tool. Dont be afraid of letting your customers know how much you love your propositions!