GoVisits Web Directory » News Articles » Sales Information » Why I Hate (Most) Benefit Statements

Why I Hate (Most) Benefit Statements

Benefits are what motivate people to purchase from you, right?

Not exactly.

Just last week I was reviewing a rundown of product benefits with a client who is putting a new prospecting program together.

This client got a series of benefits to use in selling from one of the senior sales reps of his company.

Here's a few of them:

  • "Thousands of successful Installations"
  • "Extraordinary number of referrals"
  • "Unparalleled commitment to our clients"

I'm just curious... do any of these things sound like the benefits YOU are supposed to be talking about with YOUR customers?

Back when I was selling business software systems for Silicon Valley startups, I used to get benefit statements like these from the brilliant marketing and training people.

I got to really hate benefits. Saying them made me feel like a real cheeseball salesguy.

OK, maybe hate is a little harsh.

But I do hate the way they are used most of the time I hear people talk about their importance in selling.

Most Benefits Are Too Vague

Most benefits that salespeople are given to use (or they come up with on their own) are too vague.

So many benefits sound like the examples I gave above or - even worse - like the following:

  • "Saves you money"
  • "Improves efficiency"
  • "Will make you feel better"

Ask yourself what you would be saying to your new prospects if you went to work for your number one competitor tomorrow. Do you think you'd say "Well my product saves you money, but not as much money as my competitor who I used to work for yesterday"?

No! Of course not.

You'd be claiming the exact same (or substantially similar) benefits as you are today.

And that's just what your competitors are doing right now. They are making the same vague benefits claims as you are.

Selling Is Interactive - Benefits Are Not

By using a series of benefits when selling to a prospect, you are tossing out attractions, sensations, or invitations in hopes that your prospect will get excited about one or more of these.

That is not interactive selling - that's advertising in front of a live audience.

Don't waste your time by spewing vague general benefits when you are selling live in-person.

You want probe, ask lots of questions and learn about your prospect first, instead of leading your pitch with product or doing-business-with-us benefits.

When Benefits Are Useful

Benefits are useful in written sales text such as prospecting letters, newspaper or magazine advertisements, and formal proposals.

The most effective way to sell with the least resistance is to find out what is important to your prospect and sell to that.

Find a problem that they are having, which you are capable of solving with your product or service. People will pay for a solution to that problem, IF it is important to them to solve that problem.

Once you have uncovered one or more solvable problems, specific benefits that your prospect can gain become very meaningful because you are now appealing to your prospect's self-interest.

So instead of living these sales clichés...

  • Spray and pray.
  • Show-up and throw-up.
  • Throw it against the wall and see what sticks.

... ask more quality questions first. Find out what's important, and find a problem that you can solve that is meaningful. Then sell them on how your solution can eliminate the problem and benefit them.

© 1999-2004 Shamus Brown, All Rights Reserved.


Sales articles

  1. Handshake Intimidation

    In some situations, attempting to intimidate the other person will actually increase the amount of rapport you gain with them. CEO introductions, meeting other salespeople (and competitors), and sales job interviews come to mind. Other times ... more to this article

    Article category: Sales Information

  2. Before They buy What You Say - 10 Steps To Selling Yourself

    You are the productWe're all in the selling business whether we like it or not. It doesn't matter whether you're a lawyer or an accountant, a manager or a politician, an engineer or a doctor. We all spend a great deal of our time trying to per... more to this article

    Article category: Sales Information

  3. 8 Part Strategy For Constructing Your Advertising Message

    Strategies to help produce your brochure, advertisment or direct mail. And make it achieve more sales.1. Attract & keep the customer's eyeYour customer must be kept glued to your words. They may leave at any point of your copy so... more to this article

    Article category: Sales Information

  4. 10 Important Things To Tell Your Prospects

    Hello everyone, hope your day is going well! I know this one is short but it is very helpful!1. Tell your prospects that you offer free delivery. This may cost a little money, but, you will gain the extra customers to make up for it.2. ... more to this article

    Article category: Sales Information

  5. Why Are We All So Afraid?

    What can strike terror into the heart of even the most successful sales professional or entrepreneur? Cold Calling. What can crush self-confidence, destroy self-esteem and leave even the most seasoned sales professional quivering with ... more to this article

    Article category: Sales Information

Why I Hate Most Benefit Statements information

Article categories

Lock, Stock, and Barrel!

The other night I was watching a classic western from 1969, ...

Sales Information

Going Global: Communication Across Mental Boundaries

A completed communication consists of a sender and a receive...

Sales Information

How to Leverage Your Influence

Why do we get into sales? Typically it is two reasons for mo...

Sales Information

Restaurant Pressure Washing

Many pressure washing companies try to stay away from the re...

Sales Information

Model Dell: The Art of the Affiliate Coupon

Along with having an innovative supply chain, there's anothe...

Sales Information

How Improve Conversion Rates

Do you know your conversion rates? Conversion rate is the nu...

Sales Information

Top 10 Ways to Maximize Your Approachability

After reading and researching thousands of books, articles a...

Sales Information

Sales Letters - How to Write Them

You could just send out your brochure to potential customers...

Sales Information

Long Sales Letters vs. Short Sales Letters

Everywhere I turn, I'm being asked to weigh in on the issue ...

Sales Information

I Am A Habit

JOHN DI LEMME on "I Am A Habit"H-A-B-I-T...When 95% o...

Sales Information

Selling To Women - Selling To Men - It Isnt the Same

Selling To Women - Selling To Men - It Isn't the Same...

Sales Information

The Risk of Being A Yes-Man

Sales is all about negotiating. You are negotiating from the...

Sales Information

Want More Sales? Write A Barry Bonds Sales Letter

I'm not a baseball fan. Never have been. In fact, I hate the...

Sales Information

The Power of Thank-You

When was the last time you thanked your customers?Thi...

Sales Information

Marketing Conversations, And Conversation Stoppers

Where many marketing conversations get off-track are the one...

Sales Information

Customer Service Revival

Value is in the Eye of the BeholderSales today is fil...

Sales Information