By Christine Harrington
This blog post is one of a series that features insights from certified Peak Performance Mindset trainers and experts. – Sales 3.0 Conference Editors
Do you have the habit of leading with product benefits? Too often, well-meaning salespeople “product dump” during the sales conversation, thinking the product is strong enough to sell itself. Big mistake. Even if it is, that’s not the most effective way to sell.
What is “product dumping”?
During the sales presentation, you explain the product benefits…all of them! In this sales model, the prospect is forced to sit and listen. You may ask a few questions to gain acceptance or understanding, but the questions don’t lead the prospect into the sales conversation. At some point, you notice the glazed-over look on the prospect’s face. You try to recover from losing him and the sale. Too late – you’re just another typical sales rep.
Instead, lead with a question that refers to a benefit. For example, if you’re selling a group benefit insurance product, pose the questions that require the prospect’s answer to lead into an explanation of a product benefit: “Mr. Prospect, how successful is your current reference base pricing model?” (where reference base pricing is part of your benefits package).
The answer to this question will tell you if the prospect even knows about reference base pricing, if the prospect is successful using it, or may have heard of it is and not using it. Any of these answers can lead the discussion into the benefit of a reference base pricing model. Instead of product dumping, you’re leading the prospect into a conversation around a benefit you offer. Instead of you talking about a benefit – forcing the prospect to sit and listen – you are asking a question around a benefit your product offers and turning your presentation into prospect engagement.
See the difference?
Before you meet with the prospect, try these tips to reframe the sales conversations into benefit-leading discussions.
- Do your homework on the prospect. Ask questions on answers you already have discovered about the prospect. For example, you may already know from your research that the prospect just changed his current group benefit plan. Ask the question, “You’re using an out-of-state TPA. Did that come about as a result of a direct contact or through a broker?” You know the answer he will give – letting you then ask the prospect questions and discuss the benefit you offer: that you’re a local broker and how it will help the prospect.
- Be prepared with a list of questions for a lead-in discussion for each product benefit.
- Save your silver-bullet benefit for the last if you need to use it to close the sale.
Too often, salespeople product-dump all their benefits and have nothing left to clinch the sale.
- Use a script to keep yourself on track so you’re not rambling.
You see, every question you pose during the sales meeting will lead to a discussion around a benefit. In this way, the prospect is engaged in the discussion and becomes actively involved in solving his issues – using your products. It becomes participation in the sales process instead of being talked at through a presentation.
Christine Harrington is The Savvy Sales Lady. She is a facilitator for Peak Performance Mindset workshops and a personal sales coach who helps sales professionals develop and improve their sales performance.