In an issue about revolutionary ideas, what’s so “rebellious” about features and benefits in the selling process?


We can all agree that a presentation is pretty much a recitation of features and benefits. Right? In fact, I’d bet this is what each and every one of us has been taught.

What no one seems to have been prepared for, however, was that this gave birth to Buyer’s Remorse. Indeed, I believe telling a customer about the benefits only stymies sales.

Wait, am I about to break with tradition? Count on it!

If you’ve been a devotee of this column, over the past few years, you know I believe in questions, in asking as many questions as I can, in a very systematic order, to uncover need and/or pain.

Then, once the customer is aware of their needs/pain, and they realize a solution needs to be discussed, I literally ask their permission to make my presentation. It sounds like this: “Would you like me to help you with that?”

Only if they reply “yes” should one make a presentation.

At this point most people, not just ECPs but professional sales people as well, will jump in and start telling the customer about the features and benefits of the product or service that will save the day.

Big mistake! You may tell them about the features of a product or service but never tell them the benefits!  

Instead, go in the opposite direction and ask the customer about the benefits. It would sound something like this:

“Ms. Hill, this lens is a bit different than the regular tinted sunglass lens. It’s polarized. Which means it will virtually eliminate all that harsh glare you said really annoys you when you’re out on your boat (you just told them about a feature, now ask…)

“Do you think that might be helpful to you?”

“Yes, I think it would.”

“Great. How?”

By asking them how it will be beneficial to them, it brings them into the solution process and they trust it. Why? Because it’s their idea. It’s not coming from you, it’s coming from them! Which kicks Buyer’s Remorse in the pants!

Having a customer close the sale  is the very best way to make a sale. How revolutionary.

Robert Bell is the founder of EyeCoach, a Sales & Marketing Practice. He is one of the most inspirational, innovative and effective speakers/trainers in the eyecare industry. His workshop,“Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Only Selling” is highly coveted. Email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 This article originally appeared in the February 2018 edition of INVISION.   

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