The average seller harps on the benefit of the two-door lift; the progressive one first vividly spells out to the buyer what not having the two-door lift means. 

Before sharing the benefits of your product, first spell out what the lack of its benefits means to the buyer.

Let me illustrate. You’ve watched it in the movies, or read about it. The prosecutor has a suspect in custody. The evidence against him is air-tight. He knows it. The prosecutor knows it. But he is a piranha, and the prosecutor wants the shark. And the piranha can get him the shark but he needs to be incentivised to do so (the benefit). So, in an intense face-to-face session, he lays out the cards. “The document you’ve signed states that you tell us everything illegal you’ve done (in your industry) and particularly in regard to (the shark), in return for a reduced sentence. If you are untruthful, we will prosecute you. You are looking at a fifteen year sentence. By the time you leave, your son, Allan, will be in university if at all he makes it there. With no father to guide him, who knows? And do you know what they do to people like you in prison…..” Likely the suspect already knows all this but the prosecutor still spells it out (the lack of benefit). He then lets it sink in for a few seconds. And then drops the bombshell, “But. If you testify against (the shark)….”

Read: How to unlock sales success by articulating your value proposition

Spell out pain of not having

When selling, we are encouraged to share the benefits of our products (what it does) and not just its features (what it is). For instance, say I’m selling a two-door (feature) lift to a hospital, the benefit is that, “Because it opens from either side, you can enter and exit without having to turn the stretcher.”

The average seller harps on this benefit; the progressive one first vividly spells out to the buyer what not having the two-door lift means. 

“Based on our observation, in a life-threatening situation, it takes an average of seven minutes to wheel a patient from Casualty on the ground floor to Theatre on the rear side on left wing of the first floor.  Time is of the essence when saving a life and the hallmark of your hospital is its ability to save lives. Reducing seven minutes to two could be the difference between saving a life-or not- and an enhanced reputational image (or not). From our statistics, you have five emergency cases every day; the chances of losing a life is compounded five-fold every day because of the time it takes to wheel a patient whose life is in your hands from casualty to theatre. Loss of life is tragic. The more in a hospital and when you know you could have done something to prevent it. How has your experience been?”

At this point the buyer is likely to contribute to the discussion by giving an example or showing discomfort; either way he is at his most receptive moment for the benefit. “Now, with a two-door lift…”

Read: Avoid using the word ‘convenient’ while selling

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