Sell the Outcome, Not the Activity

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In my post 5 Sales Tips to Maximize Your Price, I promised to break down the individual tips even further.  Here goes on the first sales tip:

Sell the Outcome, Not the Activity.

Anyone can sell features. Your objective is to focus on the outcomes the customer will gain in buying from you.  You aren’t going to know what the expected outcomes are until you engage the customer in a conversation. 

When you’re talking with the customer, you need to get them to tell you what they’re expecting.  Don’t put words into their mouth, but rather allow them to explain. A person is far more willing to believe something if they say it rather than if they’re told it.

Key in doing this is to ask good questions. Keep the focus of the discussion on the prospect explaining what they want to gain from what you are selling. 

Many salespeople are quick to focus on the activities that result from the product or service.

An example is somebody selling a software system might be inclined to focus in on the ease of use.  Problem is this is an activity.  The salesperson should instead try to get the customer to see how the ease of use is going to allow for better solutions coming out of using the software.

The “ease of use” means the software will effectively help solve problems.  This is the outcome. When the customer understands this and is able to say it, then you the salesperson can begin to build on it.

Highlighting activities is one of the biggest problems salespeople have.

They think that by talking about the activity, they’re doing a good job because they’re not actually talking about product specs.   It’s true they’re not talking about specs, but they’re still not getting to the real opportunity that is going to allow them to maximize their price.

If you’re still wondering what I mean, let me provide you with one more example.

If you’re selling backyard swimming pools, the features are the specifications of the pool.  The salesperson might be inclined to sell the activity of the ease of cleaning, the low energy costs, etc.  Sorry, but these are not the outcomes.

The outcomes are the memories that will be created from the good times the family will have, the parties they’ll be able to enjoy, the likelihood their teenagers and their friends will want to spend more time at the house, etc.

There is no doubt about it — when you sell the outcome, you sell at a higher price.

Your profits will reflect that you have set yourself apart from average salespeople.  

You are exceptional.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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4 thoughts on “Sell the Outcome, Not the Activity

  1. Pingback: Are Your Customers Confident in You? | Il Commerciale – The Salesman ©

  2. Pingback: Are Your Customers Confident in You? | Il Commerciale – The Salesman ©

  3. Steve Borek

    Same can be said when prospecting or cold calling. If you’re going to leave a message, tell them what they’ll receive after working with you.

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