If you want to learn how to sell more persuasively, you need to understand what your prospects want. You can't convince anyone to do anything if you don't know what drives them. You have to figure out what their desires are.
Selling is a skill that anyone can learn with enough practice and application of the right principles. The most fundamental principle of all, however, is learning to communicate the benefits of your product to your prospects. People like to think that they operate on a logical level and that they are 100 percent objective in their decisions, but the fact of the matter is that people communicate through words (logic) that are laced with many layers of emotion. This means that you need to make them feel as well as think.
People feel the benefits of your product more than they think about them, so it's important for you to get a handle on the kinds of positive emotions that your prospects are craving when they come to you to solve their problem. There are several different categories of benefits that your product or service may provide.
As Zig Ziglar said:
"You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want."
This post will discuss the different types of benefits that your offering might provide for your customers.
What Customers Want
Everyone wants to feel pleasure, right? This is one of the main benefits that people are looking for in a product or service. Whenever someone wants something, but doesn't necessarily need it, the desire for pleasure is usually the motivation behind it.
Pleasure means something different to different people, of course. For some, it's entertainment. For others, it's prestige. For others it might be a sense of relaxation and relief from problems. The key is to hone in on what makes your client feel pleasure, and try to convey those emotions through words when you're talking about your product. Remember, people often buy for emotional reasons.
2. Increased Profit
Who doesn't want more money? Though obviously, this would appeal most acutely to businessmen, some end consumers would certainly also like to make themselves a healthy profit. The key to conveying this benefit is to establish credibility. Use your storytelling skills to tell your prospect all about past clients and how much extra money they made using your services.
Let's face it. People can be lazy. This is actually a good thing for you! This means that people instinctively like to pick the most efficient path to a given goal, and if you can help them by making their lives easier, then they will be more likely to buy from you.
Kevin Baldwin, founder of Wedding Tropics, has experienced this plenty of times as he has worked to grow his business.
"People are always looking for ways to make their lives easier. If you can provide a solution that saves them time and effort, you will win the sale."
In this case, it's also beneficial to tell a story about how your product might make specific aspects of your prospect's life easier. For example, let's say you sell point of sale systems to businesses; one way to convey the benefit of ease is to emphasize how hard it is to manage employees and keep track of sales by hand, and then present your product as a simple, easy solution.
4. Pain Relief
Everyone has problems, right? And when people have problems, they want solutions. If you know that your product or service can solve a prospect's problem, then the best way to get him to realize how much he needs it is to talk about the problem at length. Let him feel the pain a little.
Get him into the same state that he is in when his problem is happening, so that he can feel the same frustration that he feels when he's burdened by his problem, and then offer the solution. For example, if you're selling a dating service to end consumers that is supposed to help them improve their love life, get prospective clients to think and talk about their feelings of loneliness and alienation before you present them with the way out of those feelings.
5. Saving Money
Nobody likes to waste money, right? Money represents effort, and nobody likes wasted effort. Some products are geared towards making profit for people, but some are better at saving money that the consumer already has. Actually, your product doesn't have to specifically have the function of saving people money itself--you can just offer a similar product as your competitors, except at a lower price, and your prospect may immediately see the value in this.
Of course, you don't want to rely only on lower prices to get business. There are tons of reasons to avoid selling on price alone. But if you can show your prospect how much value your offering provides, price might just be the benefit that seals the deal.
Even if the upfront cost isn't lower than that of your competitors, it can still be a better value in the long run by saving money in other ways, so make sure you mention this. For example, good solar panels can often be a large upfront cost compared to buying energy from the grid, but they can save a lot of money over the long term. When it comes to pushing the benefit of savings for a product like this, you may have to take your client on a trip forward in time so that they can see the long-term results.
These are some of the main benefits that your client will be seeking when he's considering your service or product, so make sure to emphasize these. Remember to present benefits much more prominently than you do actual specific features, because ultimately what the customer wants is just to solve his problem.
Originally published on Small Business Trends
Jeff Charles is the founder of Artisan Owl Media, an Austin-based content marketing and sales consulting firm that specializes in helping entrepreneurs earn more clients and multiply their sales by becoming better salespeople. He also the host of the Entrepreneurial Sales Mastery Podcast which provides actionable sales tips to entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and anyone else who wants to learn how to sell the right way.