The number one point business owners forget about their product is why their customers should care. And this costs them a lot of potential sales. This may seem simple, or self-explanatory even, but this is too often what separates the salesperson who makes a living and the one who builds the life they want. The latter is the sales expert who sells using the FAB (Feature-Advantage-Benefit) method and shows potential customers that they care about the product being sold.
“I’m not a salesperson.”
Salespeople aren’t the only ones who sell. We all do! Whenever we communicate how someone else’s life will be better if they think, believe, purchase, or do what we do, we are selling them.
And just like we all sell, we can all benefit from applying the FAB method. The method works for pretty much everything, from why your boss should give you an extra week of vacation to why your husband should repaint the kitchen to why investors should give your venture seed money. But like any tool, you need to know how to use it.
Consider the pitch example. When entrepreneurs pitch, they want investors to fund their idea with seed money. What separates pitches that get funded and the ones that leave with a “thank you?” The entrepreneurs who leave funded have implemented the FAB method: they highlight features of their idea, clarify its market advantages, and outline the benefit it offers the investor.
FAB Broken Down
FAB stands for features, advantages, benefits. But what does that all mean, exactly?
The method provides an acronym that overviews all the information your sales pitch should provide. First, outline a product’s features, the advantages this feature has over the competition, then why this feature benefits the customer. Then, repeat the acronym for the next feature, until you run out of features.
When executed successfully, the FAB removes confusion, resonates with the customer, and more often than not, completes the sale. Let’s break it down letter-by-letter:
F answer the question of what are you selling by focusing on the product’s unique features. For example, if you are selling a car, highlight everything from the tires to the rearview camera to the upholstery.
Although this seems redundant, consumers want to buy from experts. Each feature contributes to the customer’s satisfaction with the larger product. Taking time to share your knowledge on the smaller details starts to establish your expertise on the product.
Why is your product different or better than your competition? Return to the features you just highlighted, and feature anything that might increase the value your product offers the customer, even if this means comparing an economical to a luxury model.
Returning to the example, if you are selling an economical car, highlight that the mirror is plastic and powerless. Therefore, this feature does not increase cost. Whereas, if you are selling a luxury car, highlight that a powered mirror is more convenient and flattering.
Remember, the advantages are why the feature is special, even if you sell a widely available product. An advantage can even be as simple as you are the one selling it. Seriously, people will purchase products they aren’t in love with if they love the person selling it. In fact, people rarely purchase a product, even a product they know they want, from a salesperson they don’t like.
This is where it all comes together. As a salesperson, it might seem intuitive what all the features and advantages mean outside the sales floor. But, for your customers, it probably isn’t as obvious. Rather than leaving space for assumptions, tell your customers why these features and advantages matter.
For the mirror, this means explicitly saying that the plastic mirror allows you to see behind you like the powered mirror. But unlike the other powered mirror, this one does not add to the total cost, making the monthly payments lower. In this example, most customers will draw this conclusion even if we didn’t explicitly outline it. However, by taking a few seconds to explain the benefits, rather than relying on our customers to draw the conclusion, we ensure that they understand why each feature and advantage matters.
Sales is a process, one that can sometimes feel redundant. But it pays to clearly articulate everything you want your customers to know about the product. The success of the FAB method is that it addresses how exactly the product will make the customer’s life better and helps customers sell themselves on why they need the product.