I had the opportunity to sit in a sales presentation earlier in this week, but this time I was working as a consultant and was sitting at the table, having the presentation given to me (and a few other people). The presentation consisted of the usual powerpoint show, a brief demo and then a Question and Answer session.
At the end of the presentation, one of the senior managers sitting at the table asked the question “What are the benefits of your system?” The salesman giving the presentation paused, thought about the question, and then gave a 5 minute reply – which completely failed to answer the question.
What he said was “Oh, the system is written in the latest technology, it provides a full user guide, we provide full training as part of installation, etc etc etc blah blah blah”.
To be honest, it was a fairly impressive list. But it wasn’t a list of benefits – it was a list of features. Every product and service has features – but its hard for these to make a sale – it’s the benefits that make the sale.
Benefits should/would include: “The user guide means that the answers are always at hand and therefore will save you time, the latest technology is used so that the software will have a longer shelf life and thus will reduce your support costs, etc etc. “ Benefits answers the big question – what’s in it for me?!?
The salesman’s list of features, didn’t list a single benefit, and the team decided not to recommend purchasing the product.
It’s a lesson well learnt, and I will be sure to include the benefits of my services and products in my future pitches.
So what are the benefits of your products and services?