There are many different sales methodologies / techniques that are used to help a customer reach a purchasing decision and complete a sale. We will look at two of them features/benefits and pain selling.
The Feature/Benefits Sales technique is where seller ties every feature with a benefit that the customer wants or thinks is necessary. It is considered by some effective in impulse and low dollar amount purchasing. Below is an example:
The Feature/Benefits Technique
“I’m Richard Jones with Phillips Garage. We are new to the neighborhood, and I am calling some of our neighbors with an exciting offer. I’m calling about the Buzzard 5000 super radial all weather tire. The Buzzard 5000 has special grooves that channel the water away from the treads and gives you better control for steering and breaking in rainy weather. Not only that, the Buzzard 5000 has raised white lettering integrated into a white sidewall giving you that extra sporty style. Now for a limited time we are offering our new neighbors a special on these superb tires. If you buy three tires, we will throw in the fourth tire for free. Not only that, but we will mount and balance the tires for free too. So when can you come in for your tires?”
As you can see, if you were looking for tires this would be would be a great pitch; if you are eating a chicken fried steak dinner made by grandma you would not be a happy camper.
The Pain Sales Technique
Unlike the Feature/Benefit Sales Technique, the Pain Sales Technique identifies a “pain” or a compelling event that affects the prospect personally and People are motivated by two things. They are motivated either toward pleasure or away from pain.
You are talking to the IT Manager of a midsized company. He has an old server that is giving him problems, power supplies going out left and right, NIC Cards failing and crashing the network once a month, at midnight of course, and what about the hard drives that goes out every other day and the data having to be rebuilt from scratch. They patch it up and wait for the emergency.
We ask him, “How does this impact your business?” He responds that they lose a day of production every time it crashes. Most salespeople would stop there and think “I got this one.” The cost of losing a day’s production is far more than replacing the server but that is not his real pain.
A Vendere Partners prospect Manager asks, “What happens when you lose a day’s production?” “Well it affects my bonus!” He responds; the average sales representative thinks to himself; now I got this? Wrong,
The Vendere Partners next question is: “…How does that affect you personally?” That is when we find out that his only daughter is getting married this summer and his worst fear is telling his baby “no” to anything that she may want for this big day. There is his real pain!
Sure, He is worried about that server crashing and spending more time patching it up and having to hear it from his boss about how the IT Department is a big waste of money but having to tell his daughter that he can’t afford the wedding that she has been dreaming of since she was a little girl, that will not only make daughter unhappy but his wife as well.
At first glance the compelling event looks like the loss of productivity by the company and the extra time and effort that has to be placed into patching and re-patching the server but the true compelling event would be the wedding date and making sure the bonus that the IT Manager receives is enough to pay for it.