As much as salespeople like to talk about the “benefits” of a product or service, the truth is that something only becomes a benefit when the customer says it is.

Nothing drives me crazy faster than having a salesperson share with me how their number one objective in a sales call leading up to the close is to explain to the customer all of the wonderful benefits of what they have to offer.  Excuse me but this is why people have the perception that salespeople don’t know how to listen and how the typical salesperson thinks they know everything.

A quote of mine I like to use is “it’s not a benefit until the customer says it’s a benefit.”   Get it?  Until the customer speaks the words from their mouth, there is no way I or any other salesperson can say that’s a benefit the customer wants.  The reason I’m a strong believer in this comes down to my belief that when a person says something it has a lot more meaning than if they merely nod their head at something the salesperson just said. Let’s face it… they could be nodding simply because they are polite.

When the customer actually says in their own words what they’re looking for, then it takes on value. Plus, once they say what they’re looking for, it then gives you, the salesperson, an excellent opportunity to ask follow-up questions to get the customer to reveal more.

We are in a much better position to close the sale and do so at a profitable margin when we’ve been able to get the customer to verbalize the various benefits they want.

One more thought — yes, it is possible to close a sale after having a customer verbalize to us one good benefit; however, I believe the more benefits the customer shares, the higher the profit margin you’ll be able to achieve on the sale. The customer is expressing to you several benefits, each with a different degree of value to them.   As the customer shares with you multiple benefits, keep in mind that they are providing you excellent information you can use as follow up after the initial sale. In other words, you can begin working toward the next sale.   After all, a good sale is one that leads to the next sale.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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