Our job as sales professionals is to focus on the features and benefits of our product or service that enable our customers to succeed and solve a problem. We need to establish our trust and credibility with the buyer.
- One of the biggest customers in your territory is a national consumer packaged goods company. Sales made with them can be enormous. However, breaking into their buying programs can be very competitive and take a long time to close. You finally have been given a 15 minute introduction to the buyer but immediately after the initial greeting, the buyer says calmly and cordially, just so you're aware, the features and benefits of what we're using now are outstanding and I don't think your offering provides the same value.
It's a great strategy for a buyer and anyone who's been in sales has heard this objection. It can put you on the defensive and threaten your confidence before you've even gotten past the hellos. Good salespeople know to anticipate this objection and recognize that it's a challenge that can and should be overcome. What the buyer is really saying is, we know everyone wants our business and your competitor's offering is just fine. So don't think you're coming in here to sell me anything today.
Here are the four factors that you need to focus on for this objection. First is trust and credibility. This objection is much about your product or service as it is about establishing a relationship of trust with your buyer. Your buyer needs to believe in your message. You have to establish your credibility for them to make a decision in your favor. This just doesn't happen during the first sales call. Next comes know your customer.
The example of this packaged goods company is an illustration of the work you need to do before you meet the buyer. The buyer is managing a big purchase, doesn't change often, and you know it's competitive. This illustrates the need for a strategy you must have before every call and never be surprised. Now comes knowing your competition. If the buyer says they're happy with the product or service they have now, you should be aware of the competitor's strengths.
However, I always ask a simple question, what are the features that are most important to you? Or what do you see as the key benefits of their offering? This way you'll be able to confirm what you already know and will be able to focus your response to it. Next comes features and benefits. By knowing the buyer, the competition, and beginning to earn their trust, the features and benefits you raise about your product or service becomes more straightforward.
The basics of being a good sales professional are that you have to be able to present your offering and focus it on the needs of your customer. Provide them good value, and give them an improvement of what they're using now. If you believe in your product or service, the objection about features and benefits is one that can be overcome. You recognize the importance of developing trust and listening to what the buyer states are the essential features. Understanding their needs, knowing the competition, and targeting your benefits are the steps that well-prepared sales professional follows to overcome this objection.