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Increase Your Sales by Knowing the Answer to this Question

You’re probably familiar with the old saying, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.”

And a related one, “Features tell, benefits sell.”

Features, of course, are the characteristics of whatever it is you’re trying to sell. Benefits answer your customer’s biggest question, “What’s in it for me?”

If you want to make more money, it’s important to clearly understand the difference between features and benefits.

When you’re selling anything – your product or service, yourself for a job, a loan, or even to get a date this weekend – focus on emotions, not intellect.

Because people buy emotionally, and then justify rationally. People buy for two reasons – to stop the pain or to get the gain.

So paint a clear picture in your prospect’s mind of how wonderful things will be after they buy what you’re offering. To do that, you have to clearly understand the benefits of what you’re selling. And that’s not as easy as it sounds! We usually make two mistakes:

Mistake #1: Spending too much time on features and too little on benefits.
We know our product inside and out. The problem is we often don’t fully understand the difference between a feature and a benefit. We often think of features as benefits. But they’re not. We need to translate those features into benefits – how they help the customer.

Mistake #2 – Stopping before the real benefit.
Fortunately, there’s a simple question that helps you get to the real benefit of your offering. That question is …

“And that means?”

On the show, George and Mary-Lynn illustrated this by pretending to work for an insulation contractor. George played the part of the sales person and Mary-Lynn was his manager.

Isn’t that an exciting service to sell? See if you’re more excited after the discussion!

Mary-Lynn: Alright, let me hear your pitch.

George: Inadequate insulation is a leading cost of energy waste in many homes.

Mary-Lynn: And that means?

George: Your furnace and air conditioner will run more.

Mary-Lynn: And that means?

George: You may be spending too much on your utility bill.

Mary-Lynn: And that means?   

George: You could save money by adequately insulating your home!

Mary-Lynn: And that means?

George: You would have more money to do what you want!

Mary-Lynn: And that means?

George: If you insulate your home, you’ll pay for their next vacation!

Mary-Lynn: Bingo! Now that’s the real benefit!

Are you more excited about insulation now? Most people are! Even a product that seemingly has little sex appeal can be quite appealing!

So keep asking “and that means” until you get to the real benefit. The benefit for you is your sales will grow …

… and that means you’ll live the bigg life!

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Our bigg quote today comes from Dale Carnegie, who said:

“There is only one way … to get anybody to do anything.
And that is by making the other person want to do it.”

And that means – find the one thing that they really want that you can offer, and then show them how to get it.

Next time, we ask, “Are you smart enough to say it simply?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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Get The Monkey Off Your Back

Yesterday, we discussed how to build your self-confidence. Today we’ll talk about a recent study on monkeys and what you can learn from it.

Yale University recently released the results of a study on the behavior of some monkeys when given a choice of M&Ms. The researchers broke their experiment into the following four steps:

Step 1 – The researchers gave each monkey an assortment of M&Ms.

Step 2 – They let each monkey choose their three favorite colors. Let’s say that “Spanky” chose red, blue and green. From all appearances, Spanky liked all three colors equally.

Step 3 – Then, Spanky was only shown the red and green M&Ms. Spanky chose the green one.

Step 4 – They showed Spanky the previously-rejected red  M&M and the blue M&M. Spanky chose blue; he rejected the red one again. In a disproportionate number of cases, the monkeys rejected the M&M they had discarded in Step 3. The researchers conclude that this reinforces the monkey’s previous decision. This, in spite of the fact, that he had no preference between the three initially. It turns out that monkeys rationalize their decisions!

Here are three things we take away from this:

  • You’re prone to rationalize. It’s comes naturally!
  • Think about this as you’re making decisions today. Don’t let past decisions unreasonably cloud current choices. You may be factoring in a bias from your prior selections. You’ll make better decisions today, if you’re aware of this inclination.

    For example, we have a friend who failed in business when he was younger. Now, even though he is extremely bright and has gained relevant experience, he won’t even consider going into business again. He (and his family and many friends) are letting his prior experience cloud his current judgment.

  • If you can, rationalize and move on!
  • Time and energy are often wasted second-guessing ourselves. Take a lesson from the monkeys at Yale. Focus on what’s important now, not on what happened yesterday. Time is precious – spend it productively.

    As humans, though, our decisions are often more complex than demonstrated by this study. What do you do when a past decision is affecting your life today?

  • If you must, take action immediately!
  • If a decision from your past is haunting your present, change course. You may need to do some research; do it now – the sooner, the better. Do what’s necessary today to create your dream future.

    Take someone who has racked up a huge credit card debt. He or she should stop using credit cards immediately, find ways to save money, and get a temporary, part-time job if necessary. Rationalizing will only make it worse. Do something about it now!

That’s what we can learn from this barrel of monkeys. Rationalize it if you can. Change it if you must. Either way, move on!

Our quote today is by pastor and speaker, Ralph Washington Sockman.

“Let us not bankrupt our todays by paying interest on the regrets of
yesterday and by borrowing in advance the troubles of tomorrow.”

Get past the monkey business of the past. Make today your day! Tomorrow, we’ll look at some tips for networking your way through the holiday season … and every season. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!