I developed FABONTM to help identify and present what makes products or services different in the mind of the end consumer, while answering common industry needs and objections. FABONTM keeps you focused on what you do that is different from your competitors.
Many salespeople and companies in general, talk about the same things as their competitors. “We offer this, we do that.” You need to focus on being able to do those things, but you need to focus more on the things that make you better or different than the competitors in your market.
Now, what if you’re not doing anything differently? Then you need to look at developing some differences. I will share with you some best practices when it comes to developing your own, unique selling proposition or USP.
Here is a planning tool I developed that will help you identify how your company meets common industry needs and objections while identifying products and services you should consider developing to meet the most common requests your sales team hears. Its foundation is the FAB model (Feature, Advantage & Benefit) that is frequently discussed in sales. I have added a couple other details to convert it from a sales presentation tool to a USP planning tool.
FABONTM is simply
Here are the steps to develop a FABONTM plan
- Pull together your management team and sales force
- Develop the list of all the services or product types you provide
- Develop a list of common needs and objections your sales team hears from prospects and customers
- Put the list either in a spreadsheet or on a whiteboard
- You’ll need five columns
- In the first column, list the features of the services or products that you offer. Again, try to identify features that are unique to your company
- In the second column, list the advantages or favorable attributes of each feature
- In the third column, list the benefits of both the features and advantages of the product or service
- In the fourth column, list if it is a common objection or not (Yes or No).
- In the fifth column, list if it is a common need or not (Yes or No)
- If you have common needs or objections that one of your products or services do not answer, add them into either the objection or the needs column in a row by itself
I’ll use the furniture industry as an example. In this example, let’s say that you’re a manufacturer and you offer home delivery for your customers.
- The feature is home delivery
- The advantage of home delivery for a furniture dealer is there’s no need to handle the product.
- The benefits of home delivery are less handling which equals less damage, less responsibility, less staff; less warehouse space all adding dollars to the bottom line.
When there’s shipping damage, you know who is responsible, since the furniture store did not re-deliver the product, they’re not responsible for any damage to the product, homeowner’s yard or house. Think about it: how many times have delivery trucks broken sprinkler heads or dented drywall when they’re delivering product into a house.
Now none of this becomes the furniture stores responsibility, so it’s spelling out the benefit that they’re not responsible for those items anymore. It’s the responsibility of the manufacturer who’s doing the home delivery.
Additionally, home delivery can save money in other areas. If you add up your employees’ time taking it off the trucks, staging it in your warehouse, loading it back on the truck, unloading it at the job site, taking the product into the customer’s house. How many staff hours did it take to accomplish that? How much fuel did you use to deliver that product?
You can actually tie a dollar amount into this with the store owner. As you can see, you started with a feature, then go to the advantage, and now with the benefit you’re showing them what’s in it for them or how it actually benefits them.
In the next two columns is what I added to the features, advantages, and benefits model. I also want you thinking about common industry objections and common industry needs.
Note: these columns should also be used to help develop future product or services. If a common industry objection is not answered by one of your current features, add that common objection in its own row. That unanswered objection can help you identify gaps in your offerings. If none of your competitors can easily answer that objection, developing an answer can provide you with a strong competitive advantage.
If you have this list of common objections, you can sit there and say, “How does our company handle that? What feature do we offer that handles that common objection?” You need to also be looking at those to develop this list, and these are going to be some of the things that are going to help you develop a unique selling proposition.
Additionally, with these common objections, you want to make sure you’re providing your sales force with direction on how to handle them. You want to come up with, as a group or a management team, how to handle each common objection?
Then in the fifth and final column you want to enter the common needs of your target customers. What are the common needs in this industry? What are the common needs of people that are purchasing this type of product? You want to provide your salespeople with the answers to these common needs.
If you’re answering the objections and needs ahead of time, you’re going to be so much further ahead when it comes to this company presentation. Think about the power of answering common objections or needs before they ever come up in the sales process. This process will set you apart from your competition. Additionally, this fine tunes your pitch book or company presentation so it really shows the customer, the consumer, that you’re in tune with their needs and concerns.
This is one of the many do it yourself tools I share in my new book “Practical Branding: Do It Yourself Tools and Techniques For Building A Powerful Brand Image”. The book is available on Amazon.com in both print and Kindle versions. I look forward to your feedback on FABONTM.
David Domos developed WhyBuyFromYou.com to provide content to help small businesses develop their branding, marketing and sales systems. In the past he held key leadership positions for a fortune 500 company. That company led the market in both sales and brand awareness and David was a significant contributor to its growth. David has been on the Amazon.com best seller list in their Direct Marketing, Communications and Entrepreneurship categories. He is a student of sales, marketing, branding & small business growth, continually focusing on the reasons people buy. Follow him on Twitter @WhyBuyFromYou or visit www.whybuyfromyou.com.