How to Engage Effectively With Potential Customers

Do you know why so many sales people fail to engage with potential customers and end up missing out on so much business?

People want to buy the hole not the drillLet me share something with you that completely changed the way I sold things – and has helped me find success in every single sales role since.

Your prospects and customers do not see the commercial landscape in the same way that you do – the view from their side of the desk is completely different.

Duh – yeah, obvious Chris!

Well maybe, but you can take that fact for granted and continue to sell at them – or you could adopt their viewpoint and show them why it’s beneficial to buy from you.

Most of you probably understand the features of your products or services – and that can make it really easy for us to think and talk in terms of those features – but when we do that, we’re taking our prospect down a presentation path that has very little to do with their situation.

You’ve probably read about Features, Advantages and Benefits before, but just so we’re clear on definitions, I thought I’d split them up again.

As a simple exercise during our foundation training days at Varda Kreuz we ask the delegates to write this explanation next to each word;

The Features – are what it is

The Advantages – are what it does

The Benefits – are how it helps

Virtually everything you present or discuss during a sales call will have Features, most will have Advantages – but they don’t all have Benefits – and only a selection of those benefits will matter to each prospect.

Thing is, if you’re only seeing the world from your side of the desk, your presentations will always explain to prospects what it is and what it does.

And from their side, all they want to hear is;

“What’s in it for me, how does this help me!”

The solution?

You’ve got to describe the sizzle and not the steak.

You’ve got to talk about the hole they want to create rather than the drill they’re going to need.

You’ve got to concentrate on the itch and not the scratch.

When you need to purchase something but you’re not an expert – how do you like to be treated? What would you describe as a perfect experience?

With all the windy weather we had earlier in the year I had to mend some fence panels – and let me tell you, timber yards are waaay out of my comfort zone.

However, I’m glad to say (overjoyed actually) there wasn’t a single moment during my visit to that alpha male enclave of wood, where they made me feel foolish, uncomfortable, confused, patronised or even worse – talked down to me or mocked my clear lack of knowledge.

Any of those things could have happened – actually, I just felt like I was being helped with a problem that I desperately needed a solution to – and throughout the entire process, the discussion centred round what I was trying to achieve – fixing my fence.

Question is – Would you say your customers feel the same way when you’re the expert in the room?

If you can imagine how it feels to sit in your prospects chair and then learn to emphasise with how they view both your industry and the problems they face, you’ll start suggesting solutions instead of products and create conversations instead of delivering pitches – and then you’ll end up supplying more people, more profitably than you ever have done before.

Do the 180 degree turn and take a look at the world through your prospects eyes – that simple exercise will enable you to have the conversations that they want to have, the kind of conversations where you help prospects buy things, rather than prospects just sitting there and being sold at.



My new book – Selling with EASE: The Four Step Sales Cycle Found in Every Successful Business Transaction is now available from Kindle and as a Paperback. If you’d like a preview, you can download the first 30 pages as a PDF document – completely free – by clicking right here


Chris Murray

Chris Murray is founder and Managing Director of Varda Kreuz Training, a company created to deliver sales, management and customer service training that really works – not in theory and not just sometimes – training that really works.

If you would like to discuss how we can help to develop your team, email us now on, give us a call on 0844 293 9777 – or follow this link to find out a little more about our courses and workshops.

If you were looking to book a training workshop for an individual rather than an in-house training course for an entire team you’ll find everything you need over at our Open Workshops Page by following this link.


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