Feature-function-benefit selling presentations are effective because they work. For the purpose of brevity I will refer to it as “FFB” in this article. A professional sales training program will include this important technique in some form or another. You may see it referred to by a slightly different name, such as feature-need-benefit or another closely worded name but no matter the name, it is the same technique.
Here is a simple way to make FFB an integral part of every sales effort and benefit from it. Let’s start by defining each of the terms.
This is the “what is it” part of FFB. Every product or service has unique features that separate it from the competition. If the feature is common to other products the way it is presented will help separate you from your competitor.
What does it do? During your presentation this part of FFB gives your customer the opportunity to see how it works. It goes without saying that proficient product knowledge is a must.
Why should your customer have it? Here is where you solve a problem, fill a need and re-inforce why your product or service is the right one.
Let’s do a simple exercise that puts FFB into action.
Suppose you sell automobiles. In today’s world most of them have anti-lock brakes as either standard or optional equipment. Now, you are showing your customer the vehicle. You can either say:
“This car has anti-lock brakes” or you can use FFB to your advantage and say:
“This vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes.(The feature) In the event of an emergency braking situation you fully depress the brake pedal to the floor. (The function) The Anti-lock brake system is designed to bring you to a complete and straight stop without allowing the wheels to skid. This prevents loss of control and avoids sliding off the highway or into oncoming traffic. (The Benefit)
Here is where many salespeople forget an important step. Always end your FFB presentation with a tie-down or evidence statement. In the above example it would sound like this:
“I think you’ll agree that is an important safety feature.”
Think of the product or service you sell. As an exercise to become comfortable with FFB write down some key features and practice presenting them using this method. It will pay huge dividends.