How to Build the Value of Products and Services through Characteristics, Advantages and Benefits
Building of values is, perhaps, one of the key skills of a salesman. Neither the closing of the deal, nor the work with objections are equal in meaning to this skill.
What is the value of a product or service?😊😊😊
The value of a product or service is the sum of benefits, advantages and characteristics of your product or service, less the costs of that product or service. In large deals, a customer more compares values and forthcoming costs.
The criteria of success in the building of value are the customer’s action that expresses in buying. Your task is to outweigh the scales with the customer’s expenses in favor of the characteristics, advantages and benefits provided by your products and services.
Now I am going to show what is a characteristic, advantage and benefit, and how they influence the development of the value of your products and services.
Characteristics of product and service
The characteristic of a good or service is their properties. This is what you, the manufacturer or the creator have endowed a product or service. These properties can be both quantitative and qualitative.
The quantitative properties of products are measured by physical quantities. This is the dimensions, package size, weight, volume, speed, composition, operational parameters. Quantitative characteristics of services are the period of performance of work, warranty period, response time to the problem, etc.
Qualitative properties of products and services are measured in conventional units. This is environmental friendliness, safety, ergonomics, reliability, aesthetics, utility, skills, experience, ability.
Examples of characteristics: 2 meters height, a volume of 30 cubic meters, a volume of 2 liters, a capacity of 50 units per hour, 5000 hours of residual life, 15 years of mobile application development, 10 days of production or delivery period, delivery from your warehouse.
Thus, a Characteristic is (no more than) a description or information about a product or service.
Characteristic is a description or information about a product or service
In small sales, you can list the entire set of characteristics of your product and ask for a “ridiculous” price for all this and quickly close a deal. The risks are not great, so a customer makes the decision quickly and emotionally.
In large sales, the characteristics are not significant. A buyer of Bentley Continental GT Speed is not interested in fuel consumption, clearance, a capacity of the luggage compartment. You will not make a deal with naked characteristics.
Salesman: Please, Bentley Continental GT Speed, 635 hp engine power, top speed is 329 km/h, develops speed 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds, 2320 kg weight, 4.81 meters long, 2.23 meters wide, 1.4 meters high, 6 liters engine capacity, 90 liters gasoline tank capacity, fuel consumption on the highway is 10.1 liters per 100 kilometers, 8-speed transmission, four-wheel drive, …
Listing characteristics in a large deal does not build the value for a customer, which means it will be difficult to conclude such a deal if it’s possible at all.
An advantage is how the characteristics of your product or service can help a customer. An advantage is what sets you apart from your competitors. An advantage is that you do better and faster than competitors. An advantage is what makes the founders and shareholders of the company feel pride in the product or service. 😊😊😊
Examples of advantages: you do the work faster, you have a short production time, you have a short delivery time, your system is the safest, delivery from your warehouse (not on demand), your equipment is more productive, your solution allows reduce time, your solution allows save money, your paint is more saturated, your products are more appetizing.
Salesman: We have a short period of development of project documentation.
Customer: What will you do when the authorities give a negative conclusion?
Salesman: Our system provides a high level of security.
Customer: You know, this will significantly increase the cost of IT staff and infrastructure. In addition, the ABC system is more security than yours.
Salesman: Our system will increase productivity.
Customer: If we wanted to increase productivity, we would come up with less expensive ways to do it.
Advantage pushes a customer to objection because of a hasty proposition to solve the problem
Although An advantage is aimed at solving the customer’s problem, it provokes an objection. This is because the customer’s needs are not identified. And, as a result, the value of your offer is not built. In this stage, a customer sees disproportionate costs compared to the results that he (she) will receive by buying your product or service.
The exit is do not hurry! First, identify customer’s needs, then offer a solution! There are benefits appears here.
Speak from the position of benefits for a customer, show a customer benefits, always start with benefits for a customer – each salesman heard these expressions … And then, the same words he or she repeates the recruits and their subordinates. 😊😊😊
However, not everyone who utters these words represents what is the benefit. They think benefits are both advantages and characteristics (!) of products or services. Whereas a benefit itself is somewhere nearby and remains hidden both for a customer and for a salesman. 😊😊😊
So, I will start with a detailed definition of benefits.
A benefit is how your product or service solves the customer’s need. A need is a customer’s statement about the dissatisfaction or difficulty that causes him (her) to act.
Key features of a benefit are:
- Customer’s dissatisfaction with the current situation,
- Customer’s declaration for this,
- Intention to act or a customer’s act to change the current situation,
- And, of course, your solution to this dissatisfaction.
Now, when it is clear what is a benefit, wrap the definition into a compact form.
A benefit is how your product or service motivates a customer to solve the problem, DECLARED BY A CUSTOMER.
Salesman: Please, Bentley Continental GT Speed. 635 hp engine power. The maximum speed of the model is 329 km/h …
Customer: 329 km/h? No, I do not need it here. I need to quickly start with the traffic light and nicely drive to the sunset…
Salesman: The car reaches 100 km/h in just 4.1 seconds. And the four-wheel drive adds maneuverability and stability. In addition, our designers will help you to choose the colors of the salon, and our studio will realize this. Your trip to the sun will be unique.
Customer: It’s wonderful. How much is it?
Salesman: In this configuration the car costs 290 000 USD.
Customer: Brilliant… Funny, all my friends choose electric cars. So, it turns out more environmentally friendly. Is there any kind of care for the environment in this car? ???
Salesman: Yes, Bentley’s engineers made the GT Speed powerplant more economical, improved engine performance, reduced fuel consumption by 13%. Due to this, CO2 emissions to the atmosphere decreased.
In this example, the salesman does not fill up a customer with characteristics, whereas he reacts to customer’s needs, step by step crystallizing the customer’s values.
In addition, there is no place for objections. A customer says what he needs, and a salesman helps a customer to better understand these needs.
Step by step form the value of your solution
What if a customer does not take the initiative, and he (she) asks to start telling about your product or service? In this case, it will be useful to have questions that you ask before a presentation. These questions help you identify the customer’s needs.
What if a customer does not answer your questions or you do not have these questions? Begin a presentation by periodically asking a customer: what is appropriate for a customer, what does not fit, why it is suitable, why it does not fit, how it works, why it works that way, etc.
Remember, A benefit is how your product or service motivates a customer to solve the problem, DECLARED BY A CUSTOMER.
Talk to customers about their benefits. 😊😊😊
How to offer a customer more benefits? First, stop talking about your product and service, and start talking about the customer’s needs. Second, ask, clarify, develop these needs.
Determine next steps and their terms
Now, you received a customer response to your business proposal. Maybe not 😊
Be sure to agree on the following actions: who and what does, terms and repeated contact. If a customer did not respond call back in 2 days.
There is such a trick — to take additional obligations. Take upon yourself the obligations that you will have fulfilled without difficulty. For example, suggest sending a reference list of implemented projects. This is another reason for a contact.
Now you can draw a clear line between the characteristics, advantages and benefits of your products and services.
So, how to build the value of a product and service through characteristics, advantages and benefits?
Start with characteristics of a product and service and then identify the needs of a customer. Offer the benefits for customer’s needs that your products, services and solutions give.