So I have to admit, when I first started the company 15 years ago, I thought I knew a lot. I was only 24 years old and boy was I confident. Now I look back and I can see how ignorant I was. Give it another 15 years and I’ll realize just how much I don’t know today. That’s how life is. As a life-long learner, it’s important to recognize that we don’t know very much and that the amount of information that’s yet to make it into my brain is a lot greater than the amount that’s already in there.
Back to my confession…
I remember 15 years ago talking with clients and I’d watch their eyes light up when we’d talk about the difference between features and benefits and I’d know that this was new to them. They’d hang on every word I was saying as we talked about how most companies were trying to sell their features while completely neglecting to connect them to the benefits that are important to their customers. When you see that look in someone’s eye, it can really inflate your ego and make you feel wise. Oh, how dumb I was.
It wasn’t until years later that I read a great book called Neuromarketing that talked about the importance of the customer’s pain that I realized how ignorant I really was. Imagine going out and teaching people about how benefits are the end-all-be-all while never really paying attention to what makes people look for benefits in the first place. It’s like selling headache medicine because it gives you that non-headachey feeling. That’s ridiculous. When you don’t have a headache, you don’t think about headaches. When you have one, all you want to do it get rid of it. You see, it’s the pain that makes people look for a solution. When there’s no pain, there’s no need for a solution. Why would I need the benefits of your product, until we’ve first talked about whether or not I have a problem that needs to be fixed by your solution? Does that make sense? You see, it’s the pain that motivates people – not the benefits. Sure, the benefit of an aspirin is that it can eliminate the headache, but the pain of the headache is the more important thing to be focused on.
I’m in a great sales program over at Sandler Training in Loveland and John Geiman and Don Overcash (the awesome instructors) are often reminding us that without pain, there’s no sale. Keep that in mind. So if you’re frustrated with your sales results (that’s the pain) then I’d read Neuromarketing and I’d give John and Don a call to talk with them about getting into their next sales training program. It’s a great 8-week program (that’s the feature) that is certain to improve your sales (that’s the benefit). Hope that helps.