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The Pitch Doctor: High octane benefits

26 Mar 08

Your interest in the motor vehicle is often based on the fact that it's greased lightning

by Michael Fleming

It might be automatic, systematic and hyyyyy-dromatic… which is all very nice. But your interest in the motor vehicle is often based on the fact that it’s greased lightning.

When it comes to selling your firm’s services, you might be well-located (expensive offices?), experienced (lots of high salaries?) and large (no personal service?)

Too often we talk up the features of our offering, with little or no idea whether it’s doing us any good.

Highlighting benefits rather than trotting out features is the best way to get their motor running. Tell them you have staff in all their important geographical locations with exactly the right skills (a benefit) rather than there are 300 qualified people dotted all over the country (a feature).

But there’s more. Getting into the mind of those you are pitching to and knowing exactly which benefits to highlight is the key to success. Bespoke benefits, we call them. Then you can introduce some features, linked closely to those benefits. So all that stuff under the bonnet is very important – terms and conditions, timescales, company structure, fee structure, insurance cover. It’s all got to be just right. But what makes them take the trouble to pull the hood in the first place? That’s right, benefits.

And why should they appoint you? It’s often the $64,000 question. Answer it and you have a better chance of getting the gig. Usually, one way or the other, greased lightning has something to do with it.

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