This article discusses a proven sales technique that will be useful to beginners and seasoned salespeople alike: the FAB method.
Any seasoned sales representative will tell you that the sales process has many components. Among them are prospecting, getting the appointment, qualifying the prospect, identifying needs, making the presentation, checking for agreement and closing the sale.
Some would argue with me on this, but I believe they are all equally important. You cannot reach step “B” without successfully completing step “A” and so on. That all important closures would not be successful without first laying the groundwork step by step.
That said, today I’d like to focus on what many would consider the “meat” of the sales pitch – the presentation, specifically a method called FAB
Many well-intentioned salespeople go to the appointment without a clear plan of what they’re going to say during their presentation. Maybe they are new to the company and still learning the product line. Others may jump at the chance to enthusiastically list all the features of their product or service. While others, many who have been selling for a long time, simply like to improvise.
All of these approaches will yield hit-or-miss results at best.
Sellers need an organized approach. They must present the product or service in such a way that the potential customer can immediately see what is in it for them. A long-standing, proven method of making sales happen is the FAB approach.
FAB stands for Features, Benefits and Benefits. It’s a way to guide your prospects through the thought process of “so what does that mean to me?” After all, that’s all they care about.
Here’s the process:
At your meeting, after asking questions to determine what needs there might be for your product or service, tell them that, as you understand it, they are concerned about how to save money (improve safety, or whatever also) within their company. It is important that the potential customer knows that you have listened and understand their concerns. Tell them that you think your company can provide a solution to this problem. (I don’t like to say “problem” because many people don’t like to admit they have a problem.) Take one feature at a time, starting with the one that will have the most impact, start discussing the features, benefits and benefits of your product or service.
FUNCTION – A feature is a characteristic of a product or service.
Briefly discuss a feature of your product or service. I say “short” because you don’t want to spend a lot of time on this since the client really doesn’t care about the feature at this point.
ADVANTAGE – The advantage is what that function does.
You can spend a little more time talking about the benefit. You’ll get a feel for the gears in your customer’s head as they begin to realize what this means. Sometimes during this time the sale is actually made in the customer’s mind long before you discuss or close the benefits.
ADVANTAGE – A benefit is how the benefit translates specifically to helping that customer: Save time. To make money. Save money. Improve health. Provide peace/safety. Provide security. Raise status.
Many people have the wrong impression that they are selling a product or service. What actually sells are the benefits.
Always sell benefits
Some FABs are obvious.
Feature: Our Credit Union members receive a free checking account.
Advantage: they do not pay monthly fees.
Benefit: You save money every month.
Feature: Our strollers have two safety locks: one on the wheel base and one on the handle.
Advantage: You can easily tighten one or both safety latches.
Benefits: Two safety latches provide extra security for your baby and extra peace of mind for you.
Other times they are not so obvious and may not be of value to all customers.
Feature: We provide point of sale displays and signage during this promotion for all distributors.
Benefit: You get the same sales tools as the larger stores, regardless of your purchasing volume.
Benefit: You save time as we do the promotion for you and you are on a level playing field with the bigger distributors which means you can make more money.
Always use the word “you” when talking about the benefits, and especially the benefits. In this way, the customer can imagine that he actually uses the product or service. It’s a great subliminal tool that no one really notices, but it does affect people.
Your product or service can have many features that translate into benefits and then benefits. Please don’t make the mistake of telling your prospect everything your product has to offer. Studies show that the optimal number of presentation points is three. After that, people really don’t remember much. Plus, you may only need one FAB. That’s really all it takes.
Make sure you know as many FABs as your product or service has to offer. However, present only those (no more than three) that specifically address the concerns your prospect revealed during your questioning process. If they are impressed after the first FAB, be sure to ask your control questions and go for the end.
The FAB method is a proven method to help the potential customer realize the value of the products or services you offer.
Learn it. It will serve you and your customers well.