Last month, I began sharing Ten Steps to Controlling the Sales Dialogue, a white paper which will be posted on the Operation: Pineapple website later this month. Today, I am proud to share what is perhaps the most important step in the process: Sharing Value & Benefit First. Enjoy!
7. Share Value & Benefit First
Several years ago, I was working at the front gate for one of the top theme parks in the world. We had a strong sales program in which we focused on generating higher sales of annual pass products, multi-day/multi-park tickets, and other special services. One of the services we sold allowed guests to skip the regular line in favor of priority access to attractions. The product had a clever name that branded it effectively but it did not accurately convey what the product was. As I would observe my Sellers during their interactions, I found that they were assuming their guests already had a basic understanding of each of the products they were pitching and because of that assumption, they would simply ask the guest "do you want to add [product name] to your ticket?" with no further explanation. As you might imagine, more guests responded with "No" than with "Yes" which led me to conclude that when guests do not fully understand and connect with a product's benefit and value, they are less likely to purchase.
This story does have a happy ending: we began to have organized discussions with our Sellers that were focused on how to describe a product's value and benefit clearly. Together with these discussions, we began to coach our team on the importance of sharing this information before presenting price or asking "do you want." By focusing on educating and connecting on value and benefit, more guests felt comfortable saying "YES" simply because they now had a deeper understanding of the product and its value to them.
Sharing value is a lot like filling an empty canvas with a colorful, detailed picture. People appreciate having more information from which to base their purchase decision. However, at the point of sale, it is not always possible to spend more than a moment or two to share a product's value and benefit. The line needs to keep moving which means that Sellers must be efficient with the words they use, infusing energy and passion to draw their guest in and to connect them with the product. When this is done properly, guests have a better understanding of the product being presented. Because they have a richer understand of product value, more guests will say "Yes" based on that newfound knowledge. It's all about educating and connecting on the value and benefit of the product.
Next week: Step Eight: The Assumptive Close
"Timid salesmen have skinny kids."--Zig Ziglar