By Harry Singer
Want to make more money? Why not just close more deals? Unfortunately for most sales people, missing a sale is more common than making a sale; most salespeople close well below 50 percent of their appointments. Selling a water conditioner can be a challenging process. Prospects seem to have an endless number of excuses and/or objections for why they can’t buy. While many closing techniques exist, the most effective solutions instill desire in your buyer. Most objections are stalls or just flat-out lies. When you create enough hunger for your product, even entrenched objections disappear. Here is an easy action step: Stop attempting to overcome objections and start creating more desire!
One of my many duties at Liquid Soap is training salespeople to be more effective in their sales presentations. Out of all the ‘crimes against the sale,’ the one that I witness most is the failure to create a burning need for the prospect to own conditioned water. People purchase products based on the perceived benefits of ownership. On many occasions, I hear salesmen describe only the boring features of their product. I often ask salespeople: “What are the benefits of owning a water conditioner?” Unfortunately, their responses are rarely benefit-oriented and lack enthusiasm.
For maximum impact, selling statements should include as many benefits as possible. Most importantly, they must be communicated with passion. People purchase an item when they believe its benefits will improve their lives. The higher the price tag, the more value they must perceive. I frequently witness salespeople make proclamations such as: “Our system removes all the water hardness.” Although this statement is true, if that is the end of the proclamation and no correlating benefits are stated, was any real value created? Removing the hardness from water is a feature of having a water softener. But, does the prospect understand how soft water will improve their life? They probably do not, so the statement has little value.
Consider your personal purchasing process. When you last upgraded your phone, did you choose your new phone because of its core-processor speed or because it browsed the Internet quicker, which might save you time and frustration? Did you select your phone based on the innovative metallic alloy that facilitates conduction or because its improved battery allowed for longer use? The difference between these statements is the difference between features and benefits. In sales, a phone’s processor speed represents a feature. It is not a benefit because it does not inherently communicate an improvement to the consumer’s life.
Take a moment and write down your answer to this question: What are the top 10 benefits of conditioned water? Read them over and consider if the statement conveys how the product will improve the customer’s life. Implementing a strategy that consistently portrays the benefits of conditioned water will lead to greater sales success.
Understand the individual
Not all of the benefits of conditioned water will have the same appeal to every client. In order to maximize your effectiveness, it is imperative that you identify the buyer’s priorities and specific needs. The best way to identify the customer’s needs is by asking questions such as: “Does anyone in your home suffer from dry skin?” This question finds the buyer’s need and sets you up to make a statement about potential benefits. Brainstorm questions that identify needs, while creating opportunities to mention the product’s benefits. For instance, once you’ve identified dry skin as an issue, you can elaborate on why soft water is so great for their skin. It is okay to discuss features with your client as long as you then articulate the benefits attached to those features. A great benefit statement will illicit the response: “I want that!” Here are some impact statements that should stimulate the ‘I want that’ emotion:
- Many of my customers find that their dry skin is greatly reduced or eliminated.
- A lot of my customers have more free time because they don’t have to work so hard to scrape and clean the soap scum on their bathtubs and shower doors.
- My customers love the fact that they no longer have harsh detergents and chemicals left in their clothes. They find that their linens and clothes are softer, cleaner and last longer.
- My customers love having better-than-bottled quality water right from their kitchen sinks.
- My customers love the fact that they save money with conditioned water.
- My customers appreciate how much better their coffee and tea taste.
- Many customers love having clear ice instead of white opaque-looking ice.
- Wouldn’t it be awesome to become part of the solution instead of the problem? Treated water uses less chemicals and is safer for the environment.
- Wouldn’t it be great to know that you are prolonging the lifespan of your dishwasher, washing machine, plumbing and ice-maker with soft water?
- People love knowing that they have rinsed all the detergent from their towels, sheets, clothes and even their dishes.
I urge you to record either a practice presentation or an actual live presentation. Ask someone to listen and check if you are communicating the benefits of conditioned water with passion and sincerity. Quality sales opportunities are a precious commodity. Therefore, it is critical that each time you find yourself belly to belly with a prospect, you provide yourself with the knowledge necessary to make the sale. Words are the tools of the salesmen. Just as a soldier battles with the best equipment he can find, you too must constantly improve your verbal armory. Begin this process today. Incorporate benefit-oriented salesmanship into your technique. You will see improved closing rates and consequently bolster your income.
Harry Singer has enjoyed success in sales since 1984. He began as a water treatment salesman, eventually becoming a RainSoft dealer. With his unique bravado, entrepreneurial instinct and sales expertise, he helped grow his own company, Liquid Soap Products, into an industry-leading corporation. Always eager to facilitate the advancement of like-minded individuals, Singer has been fortunate enough to share what he has learned with salespeople across the globe.