As you may know, on February 9th the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will honor the best films and performers of 2019.
Honoring the performance of others can be a gratifying experience… and we can do the same thing in our professional introductions and selling presentations.
Simply stated, too many intros and presentations focus on “what we do or what we offer.” Instead, why not “honor” our customers or clients by making them the stars! In other words, instead of making networking introductions or presentations that are all about us, why not make them about our customers and clients?
If you can make your customers or clients the “stars” of these interactions, you are likely to encounter more engaged audiences… audiences who tend to listen with greater interest… Consider the difference between a barrage of features and product/service details versus success stories about other people… people similar to our audience! A few examples:
- “We offer the fastest, most-advanced…” vs. “Our clients enjoy an immediate surge in productivity, and at least a 5:1 R.O.I. in the first year alone…”
- “Our widget comes in six different styles and colors…” vs. “Other firms like yours have been able to color-code their widgets by department, thus simplifying inventory management…”
- “Our software solution has the best user interface…” vs. “Users love the simplicity and most can put the solution to immediate use…”
- “Our system is the most reliable…” vs. “Our customers experienced an average of 50% more up-time…”
This perspective isn’t new, but it’s often forgotten. Possibly this is because as our organizations introduce new products and services, or when they make improvements to what we sell, we find ourselves intrigued with the updated versions or the latest developments and, therefore, we are compelled to talk about these things. Or we are under the mistaken belief that if “people simply know what we do they will want to do business with us…”
But these new features, bells and whistles more often fail to WOW buyers, because buyers are most persuaded by what’s in it for them… not by “what we do or what we offer,” but rather by “what they will get.”
Of course as simple as this may sound, we realize it’s not easy. The first step will involve a conscious effort to distinguish between features and benefits, and then to modify not only the way we think (i.e., think in terms of the customer and how they will benefit) but also how we communicate.
Of course, as simple as this may sound, we realize it’s not easy. The first step will involve a conscious effort to distinguish between features and benefits, and then to modify not only the way we think (i.e., think in terms of the customer and how they will benefit) but also how we communicate.
A simple and easy way to get this thought process started might be to adopt the following sequence as part of our planning process: “Because of [FEATURE], you get [ADVANTAGE], which means [BENEFIT]”
By applying this thought process before interacting with customers or prospects we can shift our thinking and, hopefully, our communication style, away from features/price/details and instead focus on benefits/value/what they get by stressing the “which means…” part of the equation.
As the saying goes, “No one ever really needs a shovel…”
(They just need a hole.)