PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

Successful salespeople live by the axiom: “Features tell.  Benefits sell.”

They know they can’t just talk about the various features of their product or service; they have to translate these features into benefits for the prospective buyer.  If they don’t stress the benefits, they won’t make the sale.

This truth isn’t just important to salespeople.  Anyone who wants to speak persuasively has to stress the benefits their audience members will enjoy if they buy in.

But what if all your experience is in telling, not selling?  How do you learn to translate features into benefits?

Start out by watching one of the shopping channels on television.  You may have no interest in buying a roaster oven that cooks whole turkeys or jewelry that changes colors, but you can get a first-rate lesson in how to emphasize benefits.

The hosts on these shows are constantly challenged to come up with as many benefit statements as they possibly can in order to move the merchandise.  With thousands of hours of practice, they get quite good at it.

Am I suggesting you sell a financing plan to your board of directors the same way you might sell kitchen utensils on TV?  No.  The style would be inappropriate.

However, observing this skill practiced in a highly-obvious way is helpful for understanding the mechanics of it.  Once you have that understanding, you can modify the approach to fit your particular circumstances.

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