Simple Sales Strategies

Posted by Mike Gorman on April 02, 2015
Simple Sales Strategies
Can you discern the subtle difference between the features of home performance and its benefits?

Everyone was seated waiting for the train to depart when vendor #1 stood at the front of the car and held up a familiar brand of chocolate candy bars announcing their price. Then he walked through the car and offered a candy bar to each of the passengers. I watched as he sold two candy bars in that group.

The train was just departing as vendor #2 came down the aisle putting small packages of chocolates wrapped in clear plastic bags into the hands of each passenger. Once he had traveled the length of the train car he turned to announce that our destination was some time away and surely we would need something to nibble on during the trip. He announced the price of the candies he had passed out. He then reminded us all that if we weren’t interested in eating the chocolates ourselves we should surely have a little gift for those who were meeting us at our destinations. Then he reversed his trip through the train car and collected either the chocolate or payment from each of those who were holding the bags.                   

The prices were similar, the products were similar. Vendor #2 collected from seven passengers in the car.

Vendor #1 was simply selling the feature: candy made of chocolate. Vendor #2 was clearly more successful selling the benefits of his product—he named two clear benefits. Honestly I wasn’t the least bit tempted to buy until Vendor #2 mentioned a benefit I wasn’t thinking about at the moment—giving the chocolates as a gift.

In your business, can you discern the subtle difference between the feature of “high efficiency” and the benefits of comfort, health, and safety (for building scientists) or convenience, spacious, updated, efficient, stylish, bigger (for remodelers)? Can you educate the prospect so that they can make better buying decisions by uncovering benefits they hadn’t thought of before? Vendor #2 has it figured out. It was obvious to me that he had a good take on which benefits were attractive to his prospects in that particular moment.

I paid him and tucked the chocolates in my pocket.


Mike Gorman delivers seminars and provides telephone and on-site coaching with clients ranging from government agencies to Fortune 500 companies and individual contractors regarding sales, marketing, and estimating. To learn more about Mike and TechKnowledge Systems, click here

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