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The Basics of UK sales training

the product offer - sales training (uk)
FAB's, USP's and UPB's (Features Advantages Benefits, Unique Selling Propositions/Points, and Unique Perceived Benefits)

The product offer, or sales proposition, is how the product or service is described and promoted to the customer. The product offer is what the sales person uses to attract attention and interest in verbal and written introductions to prospects - so it has to be concise and quick - remember that attention needs to be grabbed in less than five seconds. It's also used by the selling company in its various advertising and promotional material aimed at the target market. Traditionally the selling company's marketing department would formulate the product offer, but nowadays the sales person greatly improves his selling effectiveness if he able to refine and adapt the product offer (not the specification) for targeted sectors and individual major prospects.

Developing and tailoring a product offer, or proposition, is a vital part of the selling process, and the approach to this has changed over the years.

FAB's

The technique of linking features, advantages, and benefits (FAB's) was developed in the 1960's and it remains an important basic concept for successful selling and sales training (uk). FAB's were traditionally identified and by the company and handed by the training department to the sales people, who rarely thought much about developing them.

Here is the principle of using Features, Advantages, Benefits:

Major change in sales training (uk): Customers don't buy features, they don't even buy the advantages - what they buy is what the product's features and advantages will do for them, which in selling parlance is called the benefit.

For example: A TV might have the feature of internet connectivity and a remote control keyboard; the advantage is that the customer can now access and interchange internet and TV services using a single system; and the benefit is that the customer saves money, space, and a lot of time through not having to change from one piece of equipment to another.

It's the saving in money, space and hassle that the customer buys. A sales person who formulates a sales proposition or product offer around those benefits will sell far more Internet TV's than a sales person who simply sells 'TV's with internet connectivity and remote keypads'. In fact lots of customers won't even have a clue as to what a 'TV with internet connectivity and remote keypad' is.

Moreover the few customers who recognize the product benefit by its features and advantages will also recognize all the competitors' products too, which will cause all the sales people selling features and advantages to converge on the most astute purchasing group, leaving the most lucrative uninformed prospects largely untouched.

The aim is to formulate a product offer which elegantly comprises enough of what the product does and how, with the most important or unique benefits for a given target market or prospect type.

USP's

The strongest benefit for a given target sector is often represented by the term USP, meaning unique selling point or proposition. Real or perceived uniqueness is obviously very important because it generally causes a prospect to buy from one sales person or supplier as opposed to another.

Price is not a USP; sure, some people only buy the cheapest, but most do not; most will pay a little or a lot extra to get what they want. What makes it difficult to succeed all the time with a fixed USP or series of USP's is that one man's USP is another man's.

UPB's

This leads us to the UPB, meaning unique perceived benefit - a modern selling concept which has naturally evolved from FAB's and USP's.

The problem with USP's and FAB's is that they are largely formulated from the seller's perspective; they stem from product features after all.


 
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