What separates a successful business presentation from an unsuccessful one? I feel it’s the way certain parts are handled. I call them the 3 important parts to your business presentation. This information should be especially helpful to beginning networkers. However, even those that have been in the industry for a while, sometimes will lose a good prospect for their business because they don’t keep this in mind. They could do everything else right in recruiting, and still “drop the ball at the goal line”. In fact, if your recruiting success is not what you want it to be, you might want to pay attention here.
Now at first glance you may think, well they’re pretty much all the same thing. But beware – that’s where the pitfall is. In fact, the most common mistake is “mistaking features for benefits”.
We’ll talk about each one so that you understand them better, and are aware of how they should be used in the conversation. So we need to assume that your prospect has a problem, that can possibly be addressed by the solution you’re offering. Solving problems is what sales is all about.
Features are merely facts, bits of information, or perhaps data pertaining to your business or company. Sometimes it’s a characteristic of what you do. The skill is in picking the right feature or features that specifically address your prospect’s situation. Things like longevity of the company, what the products are, even the idea of “time freedom”, or “be your own boss” by themselves, mean nothing, unless they’re relevant, and customized for the person you’re speaking with.
Advantages answer the question of “how” a particular feature can be used to solve your prospect’s problem. Once you’ve identified the right feature, if you can point out to them how it takes care of their need, you’ll surely capture their attention. For example, with time freedom, if your prospect has to miss all of his son’s ball games because he’s at work, you could explain how by having a home business, he could make the time to be there by designing his own schedule.
Benefits put it all together. In other words, a benefit combines the right feature and it’s advantage, to satisfy an emotional need. People may listen to logic, but they make decisions based on emotions. If advantages are the “how” then benefits are the “why”. Continuing the conversation above, you could say, “That way, you wouldn’t feel bad about not being there to support him”. This is the real emotional reason underlying his interest in time freedom. How would you know that? Through the dialogue you had by asking good probing questions, and most importantly, being a good listener to their answers.
So the next time you determine exactly what your prospect needs or wants, and you’re ready to present your business opportunity, make sure you speak in terms of specific features, advantages and most of all, benefits. Remember, benefits make people “feel” better, and therefore drive positive decisions.