When you approach a prospect with a new project, you have a very limited amount of time to convince them that your product or service is a worthy investment of their time and money. For this reason, it’s vital that you decide ahead of time what you’re going to focus the conversation on. You can introduce your product or service in terms of its features, benefits, and/or value. Which of these should you focus on? Which of these is most likely to capture the attention of your prospect? Let’s use an energy management system as an example:
What are the features? It can track up to “x” thousand control points; it handles minute modulations of temperature; it monitors and controls building loads.
What are the benefits? You can facilitate commissioning; you can provide visibility of equipment; you can gain insight into occupant comfort; you can enable automated demand response strategies in territories where it’s actually economically worthwhile.
What’s the value? The public sees that you’re a green company; you have a better handle on comfort and control; your occupants are happier, more productive, and more likely to stay; you get the ability to brag about an amenity that your neighboring buildings don’t have.
After reading the features, benefits, and value of this hypothetical energy management system, which category do you think a potential buyer would be most interested in discussing? I can confidently tell you that most people aren’t going to buy the energy management system because of its features or benefits. Why? They lack emotional appeal. Remember, most decisions are made emotionally and then justified financially. If you can connect the product or service with something that the prospect truly values and desires, you’ll be miles ahead of the salesperson that squanders valuable selling time discussing technical specs and simple benefits.