Do you know how important it is to distinguish specific features in your company’s offering?
Many sales leaders I talk to don’t realize that the more you can differentiate your products or services, the more your sales team can build useful dialog with your prospects, clients, and customers. It doesn’t stop there though. I’m not talking about everyday run of the mill features. What is most important is that your features come across as proprietary, honed to be special and unique!
One of the exercises that we do in our sales training is to identify a list of 10 to 20 distinct features of a company’s product and/or service. This is the first step in building out a comprehensive list of what we refer to as Solution Sets.
The goal of the exercise is to not only identify specific features, but to define them as unique to your company. Prospective buyers want to know that they are getting something of unique value, which reinforces the decision to buy from you versus from your competitor. In most cases, if there is no perceived uniqueness, then the differentiator boils down to price.
An example of a weak or non-unique feature is “rapid response.” In a conversation, it sounds something like this: “We pride ourselves on our rapid response when clients call for support.” You have a problem if most of your competitors can say the same.
To make it unique we might say something like, “One of our features of our service is our RapRep Method.” This statement accomplishes a few extra things as well. It triggers your buyer’s curiosity and is a natural lead-in to want to hear more about what the RapRed Method is and what it can do for them. What’s important when you explain a feature is to link it to a benefit, and even more important than that is to link it to a problem that your feature solves.
By definition, a feature’s proprietary name implies a unique process, which you can then explain and also associate with a benefit. Naming a feature to make it sound unique doesn’t need to be as hard as you might think. You can use an acronym or even your company’s name as part of the feature definition.
Here are three key principles that define a good feature:
1. Make it unique.
Instead of “strong industry knowledge,” say “our XYZ Knowledge-Base.” Music to your ears is when the listener comes back to you and says, “What is that?” or “Can you explain what that means?” It’s music, because someone just invited you to pitch – they are paying attention!
2. Be able to associate a benefit.
“The XYZ Knowledge-Base, which contains over 10,000 solutions, gives you quick answers, which saves you time, effort, and money.”
3. Associate a problem that it solves.
If the XYZ Knowledge-Base gives quick answers that save time and money, then the problem is the inverse of the benefit. In other words, the problem is that answers take to long to get, which slows down critical processes that are costing you time and money.
A feature is really the building block to enable your sales team to ask good questions that expose important problems. The more features you can identify, the more good questions you can ask and the more problems you can solve!