You Don’t Sell What You Think You Sell

By Susan Enns

Posted : July 31, 2015

Category : Editorial

You Don’t Sell What You Think You Sell
making the sale

Congratulations, you’re a franchise owner! Now, quick, what does your business do? No, not what product or service do you sell – what do you do? Believe or it not, these are two different questions.

Many franchise owners believe what they do is defined by the products or services listed in their price books. They think they sell widgets, when in reality, that’s far from the truth. You don’t sell widgets, you sell the benefits of using those widgets. In other words, your product is how you help your customer, and what comes in the box is just how you do it.

How to Talk About Your Franchise’s Offerings

The problem is, however, when you meet franchise owners, many don’t know how to describe their products from their customer’s perspective. Instead of talking about the benefits of using their products, they tend to ramble on about specifications. They never answer the "what’s in it for me" question that every potential client asks. As such, this franchise owner will lose potential lead generation opportunities and, ultimately, sales.

To prevent this, you must change your thinking so you can define what you sell from your customer’s perspective, not yours. Ask yourself, if I were my customer, why would I buy my product? If the training provided by your franchisor can’t help you answer this question, talk to some other franchisees or better yet, some current customers.

Take some time you read your own marketing material. Every time you read a service description or product specification, ask, "What does that do for my customer?"

Your Unique Value Proposition

When introducing yourself or your franchise, be it in person or in writing, focus on what you actually do for your clients, not what you sell. Take some time to develop your headline, commonly referred to as your Unique Value Proposition. This is essentially your elevator pitch, which describes what you do in 15 seconds or less.

When doing so, remember it’s the benefit of what you sell that makes your prospect say "tell me more," not the product itself. For example, it’s not: "My name is Sam Franchisee and I sell advertising for the Online Press." It’s: "My name is Sam Franchisee with the Online Press. I help businesses acquire new customers and increase sales though the effective use of online media."

When creating your Unique Value Proposition, ensure that it is consistent with the marketing materials provided by your franchisor. You certainly can be more customer-focused by stressing your product’s benefits as opposed to their features; however, your message must match, not only for potential contractual reasons, but also from a customer recognition standpoint. The goal is to deliver a consistent message to your customers and potential customers at all times. After all, consistency is one of the biggest advantages of buying from a franchise in the first place.

Getting Started

To help get you get started on creating a concise and effective answer to the question "What does your business do?" download the free white paper, "Creating Your Unique Value Proposition" from the B2B Sales Connections Download Center. This fill-in-the-blank template will help you create a consistent message that will bring more leads your way.

Remember, as the old sales saying goes, it’s not that your prospect wasn’t interested, it’s that you weren’t interesting enough.

Aim higher!

About the author:

Susan A. Enns is a B2B Sales Coach, Author and Managing Partner of B2B Sales Connections. She has a proven track record of success, with over 26 years of direct sales, management and executive level business-to-business experience. Her accomplishments include being the top sales rep in Canada, manag

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