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
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.
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,
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
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.
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.
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.