No, I don't mean THAT F-WORD! (I'm a polite Southern boy, remember?)
I'm talking about the WORST F-Word a sales person can use in the presence of a "big picture" person who normally, typically, usually also controls the budget and creates the budget!
That word is FEATURES!
- A Little Mistake That Cost A Salesman All Of His Commission
- Advice To Business Owners Who Hate Sales (By A Business Owner)
Geeks and tire-kickers and "See-mores" and technicians and those that can tell you NO but not YES love features such as:
- Foot pounds of torque
- Power requirements
- API integration
- 3rd party compatibility
- Number of custom fields
- Programming language, "Ah, yes, can you tell me if you can design in Cobalt, C++, Java, CSS, HTML5, and will the search engine algorithms from Penguin to Panda to Koala to Kangaroo to the Dodo bird be able to read the XML, the meta data, the beta data, the alpa and omega data and will I be able to date an Omega Mu when this page launches?"
- How much does it weigh?
- How tall is it?
- How long is it?
- Its resonant frequency
- Its gigahertz and Flux Capacitors and does it prevent cooties (that last one is sorta important)
Can you ever imagine Donald Trump asking a Dell or HP sales person
Does your blade server have a quad-core or six-core processor and what can you tell me about its front side bus?"
You know he wouldn't.
Decision-makers and VITOs (listen to my interview with the inventor of "Selling To VITO," Anthony Parinello on The Sales Podcast) like Donald Trump want to know what you can do for them, for their company, for their division, for their people.
How you do what you do is really not a concern—or even an interest—of decision-makers.
But most sales people have never had professional sales training.
What you usually have received from your sales manager (who has not had professional sales management training) is actually product training. Your company brings you in, shows you how big or small and short or tall your product or service is and send you on your way.
You're then HINDERED by the flood of features you have been taught, which gives you nothing to talk about EXCEPT features, which makes you a walking, talking brochure. If all you're going to do is show up and throw up then why does your firm need you, and why does the prospect need you, other than to bring doughnuts or buy lunch?
Learn to ask questions that engage decision-makers and make them think, make them ponder the ramifications of not doing business with you because you ask questions they haven't considered, and make them say, "Huh. That's a great question." (This is much easier to do when you follow my free Sales Agenda.)
When you get to that point you'll realize ALL of the benefits of dropping the f-word from your vocabulary.
(Your mom will appreciate you not having a potty mouth as well.)
Market like you mean it.
Now go sell something.