FAB is an acronym for Features Advantages Benefits. Every product and service has features. Hopefully your product/service has some advantages in the way those features are provided when compared to your competition. However, people rarely buy solutions based on the features and advantages. They buy because of the benefits that product or service will deliver to them or their business.
By focusing on features, you appear to be going for the ‘hard sell’ which makes buyers defensive and they put up barriers. Products/services that compete on price are often promoted as feature rich, which also then tends to make buyers think that products, which are sold on their features, should be cheap. Selling on features leaves it up to the buyer to assume the benefits that those features will deliver. More often than not, they will not make the right assumptions.
Advantages are refined features in many respects. While selling on advantages is better than selling on plain features you are essentially highlighting assumed or undeveloped needs.
Benefits become benefits only when they meet an expressed need. Benefits can be used to create a picture of success highlighting what is important to your prospect. Features and advantages should be used to justify the benefits.
For example, imagine you are selling buckets, the fact that the bucket is made of plastic is a feature of your buckets.
‘Hello, would you like to buy my buckets, they’re made of plastic.’
Is likely to be given the response: ‘So what?’
The advantage of them being made of plastic is that they are lighter than the competitor’s metal buckets.
‘Hello, would you like to buy my buckets their made of plastic so they are light.’
This is better, but still not that convincing.
The benefit associated with them being light is that they are easy to carry.
‘Hello, would you like to buy my buckets, they are easy to carry because they are made of plastic which makes them very light.’
Much better, assuming the prospective purchaser needs to carry the buckets. Of course, the same feature may have other advantages and benefits, especially if the customer wants to hold things in the buckets but not carry them.
Feature – Our buckets are made of plastic
Advantage – You can have them any colour you like
Benefit – You can see at a glance, which bucket is which, and the contents will not get confused
Feature – Our plastic buckets are made of self-coloured plastic
Advantage – There is no coloured coating to wear off
Benefit – No risk of contamination of the contents
So remember to lead with the benefits and back these up with the features and advantages.
During a business presentation you should never state a feature without accompanying it with the associated benefit(s)
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