I recently read a paragraph in an L.L. Bean catalogue that said, “You’ll always get friendly, knowledgeable help whether you call us to order, visit us on-line or stop by one of our stores. You’ll find the products you want in stock… You’ll get personal attention…”
I thought, “They know the difference!!!”
What difference?” you ask.
The difference between “Selling” and “Telling.”
The difference between selling and telling is presenting benefits versus features when you are communicating marketing and sales messages to your prospects, customers, and other target audiences.
A feature is merely a fact about your center, your early care and education services, or your staff. It tells the prospect what you have. A benefit tells your prospect what the feature will do for them, or what they get.
The next time you start to make feature statements, “We offer a curriculum based on the latest research on brain development,” or “Miss Susie has been here for 8 years,” test the difference by asking yourself, “So what?” You must answer “So what does that mean to the prospect?” for it to be a benefit statement.
Instead, say something like, “Our preschool curriculum is based upon the latest brain research, so Timmy will experience learning activities that are not only fun, but are helping him maximize his own abilities.” Or say, “The learning activities Timmy will participate in here in this class are based upon the latest brain development research, and will help him develop to more of his potential.” These latter statements change the way the prospects hear what you say and the word picture in their mind is of their own child in your center getting the best possible education. They sell rather than tell. And therein lies the difference.
In a benefit statement, your prospect sees themselves taking the action (Timmy is learning…) versus you taking the action (We have a curriculum..). It’s a small adjustment in how you say it that makes a BIG difference to your prospects. People buy benefits, not features.
Whether you are talking to prospects on the phone or in person; the more you talk in benefits versus features, the more those prospects will picture themselves doing business with you and glad made the decision to act on your recommendation. That helps creates an loyal customer and cost-effective referral source.
When you speak in benefits, you will be selling, not just telling. Then, someday one of your new customers might say, “They know the difference!”
Best wishes and happy marketing!
P.S. For additional tips that make a difference, listen to my audio program, “Basic Techniques for Securing Enrollment.” A synopsis of this and other learning programs in The Enrollment Building Success Library are available by calling us at 1-800-876-0260 or by visiting www.juliewassom.com.