By Len Rashkin
By Len Rashkin
One of the most common errors that salespeople commit is not selling
their product, service or equipment’s features and benefits. Most
representatives will mention features and benefits along the way while
presenting, but they do not go out of their way to emphasize “F &
One of the most common errors that salespeople commit is not selling their product, service or equipment’s features and benefits. Most representatives will mention features and benefits along the way while presenting, but they do not go out of their way to emphasize “F & B.”
- A feature is what something has or does, or can be an attribute of a product or service.
- A benefit is what the feature means to the buyer or “What’s in it for me”.
- A good example of how to use the above can be easily seen when a customer goes into a car dealer to by a new car. The salesman tells the customer that the air conditioning in this model Mercedes is the best on the market (feature). If the salesperson stops at that point, he has not made a great impression on the customer, other than that it is a good unit.
Will the customer believe the sales rep? If he then tells the customer that the air conditioning is also built into the seats (feature) and that small holes will breathe fresh cool air totally surrounding the occupants (feature) and the results will be that all the passengers in the car will feel extremely comfortable (benefit), with no perspiration on their clothing (benefit). When they arrive to where they are going, they will look and feel good (benefit).
Selling the benefits is one additional way to make the sale. Let’s take a look at the features and benefits on water cooler service and coffee service.
The four most important features of selling water cooler service: Quality – Taste – Convenience – Cost. Before reading on, take each of the features and see if you can write down the benefits of each. There is more than one answer for each one.
- Quality: Healthy for you; nutritional in the fact that drinking water is necessary for your health; safe for you.
- Taste: Refreshing; helps make coffee, tea and other beverages taste better.
- Convenience: Easy to place orders for a set number of bottles or cases; continuous supply, if plumbed into water system; delivered/stored by delivery person, so no need to lift heavy bottles/cases; takes a few moments to take inventory and re-order (time-saving).
- Cost: Pennies per cup; no or little waste; inexpensive employee benefit to help add to staff’s productivity.
Many of the five-gallon water coolers today use the “water safe” system. This is a cap that is punctured by a piercing tube, when inserting the neck of the bottle on top of the cooler. Also known as the “spill proof” water bottle caps.
The features of this type of cap is that the bottle does not spill water when tipped upside down, where as the old style cap would be completely removed and sometimes water would be splashed all over the walls, floor or the person doing the lifting of the heavy bottle. There are still hundreds of thousands of coolers with the old style caps, which make it quite easy to up-sell a potential new customer, by presenting the benefits of using the “spill proof” cap.
So, again, let’s take a look at the F & B of the “spill proof” water coolers:
- Features: Spill-proof during a bottle change, easy peel off protective tab on top of bottle; cooler top is sealed along with a small built-in rinseable air filter; and, cap punctures by a piercing valve.
- Spill-proof during a bottle change: Eliminates wet walls/floors/person and eliminates possibilities of someone slipping on a wet floor and suing the employer, protect area from water damage, makes it easier to flip bottle.
- Easy peel off tab: No hard to take off cap, avoid breaking nails.
- Sealed top on cooler with filter: Healthy, no airborne bacteria enters cooler, reduces chance of sickness and absenteeism.
- Cap punctures by piercing valve: Dirty hands will never touch neck of bottle, thus reducing bacteria, etc, no contamination, since neck of bottle never touches inside of water well, reduces sickness and absenteeism and adds to productivity.
The single-cup coffee, tea and other beverage brewers have great features and benefits.
- Features: Great tasting, individual choices of one cup at a time, no waste and virtually no clean-up.
- Great tasting: Employees will not have to leave office to purchase at local cafes and now have great beverages in the office, leading to higher morale and productivity.
- Individual choices and one cup at a time: Give everyone in the office a choice, leading to higher morale and again to becoming more productive.
- No waste and clean-up: No longer dirty pots to clean, eliminates wasted time to clean coffee pots, increase morale since no one has to do the dirty chore, no more dumped coffee down the drain and all leading to increased savings.
Telling about the features of your products and services and then selling the benefits helps put your refreshment service into the buyer’s mind with “what’s in it for me.” This will lead to more customer sales.
Len Rashkin can be reached at 516-241-4883 or via e-mail at OCSconsultant@aol.com , if you have comments on the above or wish to suggest future articles.