“We’ve got a readership of 5,500 on a monthly basis who will see your advert – do you want a quarter page or a half page?”

“We’re expecting over 7000 visitors over the 3 days of the show and you’ll be joining the 250 exhibitors who’ve already signed up – how many square metres do you want?”


Walk around some sales floors and you’ll hear the above statements – or similar – on a daily basis. Unfortunately, they don’t work. They fail to illustrate value and there’s not a benefit in sight. Worse, they change a consultative sales conversation into a transactional sale. And nobody ever bought a half page because they wanted to contaminate it with ink. And certainly no-one purchased 12 m² of floor space for a 3 day period just to cover it with carpet…

We know that people buy products and services because of what they will get as a result – the value. But many sales people are telling instead of selling, simply listing all the features of their product and hoping the prospect will do their own conversion into the benefits.

The sales professional’s job is to match their product to the prospect’s needs and do that by demonstrating value. The prospect must be excited by what’s on offer and must be able to see exactly what’s in it for them. And, when they see the benefits and the value they will get from the purchase, the process of closing is then easier to do. Price becomes less of an issue because the prospect can balance it with the value they get from the purchase – the return on their investment.

So it’s time to change – no more feature-dumping. Instead, let’s go for a benefit-feature-benefit approach where we highlight the value to start with, reinforce how we can deliver that with the feature then restate the benefit to reinforce the “what’s in it for them”. Which would make our earlier statements now look like this:

“You can put your products in front of more than 5,500 potential customers – the entire readership of xxx magazine is made up of a, b and c professionals who match your target audience exactly – giving you the opportunity to drive qualified leads to your website. So how do you want your series of advertisements to look?”

“You’ll be able to have face to face discussions with your precise community of both existing and potential customers at xxx event – each visitor is an a, b or c level director and exactly the type of prospect you want to do business with so your sales team will generate high-quality leads as a result of these meetings. So do you want to appear at the show?”

And while we’re on the subject of value, please don’t forget to name-check your product – too many sales people today are saying “our magazine” or “my show” or “what we offer is”. Take every opportunity to state the full name of your product or service and promote your brand. The marketing team will love you!

Paul Streeter Training Services, Woodhill, Bathampton Lane, Bathampton, Bath BA2 6SW
Tel: +44 (0)1225 443882 • Mobile: +44 (0)7785 340775 • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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