Friday, September 16, 2011
HOW IS THAT GOING TO HELP ME
Have you ever heard the term “FEATURE DUMPING” or “DATA DUMPING”? It is what happens when a sales rep starts telling the customer all the features and information about their product. It is as if the sales rep was reading a marketing brochure bullet point by bullet point.
If I were selling a bowling ball, my feature dump would sound something like this, “The Lorin’s Best bowling ball comes in 28 different colors, is made of the most durable hardened rubber on the market, compressed to over 100,000 pounds, is designed by the latest computers assuring a perfectly round ball and the least distortion in roll. The Lorin’s Best bowling ball can be drilled by conventional drill bits and re-polished to a factory finish in minutes. In weights from 8 to 22 pounds the Lorin’s Best Bowling ball is the best ball you can buy.
WOW what a bowling ball right? But the one question that is still unanswered is, SO WHAT? What do all these features mean to me as a customer? How will using this ball help my game?
Data dumping or Feature dumping doesn’t answer the question we have discussed so many times, WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). Without the WIIFM answered the value of the product isn’t established. It doesn’t matter if you are selling bowling balls or gold bars, the customer needs to know how owning the product will affect them positively.
This is a very hard habit to break for most reps. Feature Dumping is a time filler. It seems as if you are in control. It makes the rep look knowledgeable. It seems like you are giving the customer what they need to make a decision. And it is EASY to do!
Building a good value statement and presenting your product in a way that will make a good BUSINESS case takes work and creativity. It means you need to know more than just the features of your product, it means you need to know the applications for your product. It also means you need to know something about your customers industry. You need to have an understanding of how your product will “fit” into your customer’s processes.
A single piece of paper can give the customer all the features, it takes a rep to show the customer the benefits.