How to sell benefit not features.

Back in the 1990s I learned this technique of selling called features, advantages, and benefits. This “FAB” form of selling was to point out 3 to 5 features advantage and benefits of a given product. By selling on features, advantages and benefits, a salesman would have a statistical edge by educating the customer on the product or service that they were about to purchase.
It is come to my attention that many people who are marketing to brides are still using this modality of sales, which when used right, can be very effective. The worst part is that they are typically just pointing out the features without going into the advantages and the benefits. Let me explain; imagine that I am holding a pen in my hand on that pen. There is a little clippy thing , which is used to hold the pen in place on your pocket or on your shirt someplace. The feature would be the clippy thing. The advantage is the pen will stay in that place where you put it. The benefit is you always have your pen when you need it where you need it.
When people are buying, the psychology of bridal buying states that they aren’t buying the actual item, product or service. They’re buying the results of the item, product or service. For example, if you’re a photographer, they’re not buying the actual pictures more than they are buying the memories and emotions that those pictures re-create. The memories are the result of the pictures. When we try to sell pictures and pictures alone, we won’t have near as an emotional affect as we do when we sell the results. Selling to Brides needs to be emotional.
Let me share an experience from this past week. My mom and her boyfriend went on a cruise to Hawaii. They had an awesome time and were returning back to San Diego. On the way home ( a day away from Hawaii at sea) , they had two major medical emergencies. These medical emergencies caused the ship to have to return to Hawaii to treat those who were in dire need of medical attention that the ship could not provide. Having to return one day and then make up another day, coming back, put them two days off schedule.
Here’s where the benefit comes in; when they purchased the cruises, they purchased them from a travel agent. This travel agent told them if ever there were any problems to get a hold of the travel agent immediately. They called up the travel agent when the ship announced that they had to turn around. The travel agent, then made the changes to their airfare to return to Florida from San Diego, as well as connected with the cruise ship to ensure that they had a hotel paid for by the cruise ship. This did not cost my mom or her boyfriend a single penny. In fact, the travel agent then e-mailed within an hour, a copy of their new itinerary to the ship, which was delivered to their room.
Here’s how you phrase the feature advantage benefit in this case; a feature doing business with a professional travel agent, versus doing business on your own, over the Internet is the ability to react. This ability to react comes in handy when emergencies or changes of plans occur which are out of your control. Were you to book on the Internet, you would be stuck with what you booked. But in the case of an emergency, A travel agent can change plans make the necessary calls to the necessary people at the necessary times and usually avoid any and all fees for changing as well as get you some extra benefits.
Our experience as wedding vendors who are professionals has merit. When we sell simply features and failed to pronounce the benefits of those features we commoditize our services and products, and that’s not fair to us or our businesses.
Until next week. Here’s to your success.


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3 Responses to “How to sell benefit not features.”

  1. A. Celeste Sheffey (@Khoncepts) Says:

    Thank you for this article as I’ve improved greatly in the FAB form of writing work proposals when approached by brides and new clients. I’ve printed out a few copies of this article as a reminder.

  2. Arrowhead DJ Says:

    Thanks, Rick. This couldn’t be any more true. My wife and I have fine-tuned our sales technique in such a way that we get the bride and groom emotionally involved with the sale of our DJ and photo booth services. We “place” them in our vision and explain the benefits of working with our company. We state the features, and then start to talk about the advantages and benefits – when all of the sudden, the Bride and Groom take over the conversation with each other and start to “see” the benefits. In the last year, we have raised our prices – and already have 25 weddings booked for 2012! For a small – husband and wife team, we are pretty happy with those results.

  3. Simon Sinek: The Golden Circle of Feature Advantage Benefit | State of Mind Coaching & Training Says:

    […] people’s articles on F.A.B.?  Read this, this and this.  Why, because I searched them out for you to save you time and help you increase your skills so […]

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