Back to the Basics

Assuming your salespeople are qualifying prospects to find out what’s important to them, they should be using FABT as the meat of their presentation.

F – Feature
A – Attribute
B – Benefit
T – Tie Down

Many salespeople make the mistake of only giving features, without delivering on the rest of the story. When your salesperson Jim tells your prospect, “This furniture set has English dovetailed drawer construction,” the prospect will dutifully nod their head as if that means something. But let’s be honest—it doesn’t. Not without the rest of the story.

Here’s an example of what the whole story looks like in action:

Mary, you mentioned that you’d like to invest in a furniture set that will last a long time. This set has been constructed to last a lifetime. Let me show you what I mean.

Feature: Let’s start with the English dovetail drawer construction as this drawer is what is going to get used day in and day out. You’ll see here on the corners of the drawers that each side of the drawer has been fully integrated with the other side—almost like a jigsaw puzzle or a zipper. This takes extra time during the manufacturing process, but what it does…

Attribute: is joins each side of the drawer completely instead of relying on a nail or two to keep the drawer together. That means….

Benefit: this drawer is going to stand up to years of use without losing its shape (making it hard to open and close) or simply falling apart.

Now, if you have any stars on your sales team they might pull this much off regularly, but very few know to include a tie-down with each feature they cover.

The tie-down goes something like this:

Tie-Down: Mary, can you see how this kind of drawer construction is going to last a long time? (Wait for a positive response.) I bet you’d like to have drawers like this in your next furniture set, wouldn’t you? (Important: wait for the positive response.)

Without the tie-down and verbal response (like the one a flight attendant requests when you’re sitting in the exit row), you haven’t gained agreement from the prospect that, yes, indeed the feature is important. When they respond in the affirmative, you’ve just built value in the product. Now you can move on to the next feature that satisfies the prospect’s stated need of wanting something that will last.

If your salespeople are relying on “Pretty, ain’t it?” as their sales pitch—good news. You can improve sales by 20% without a single extra prospect walking through the door, just by focusing on the fundamentals of good sales technique.

I hope that adds some value to your day and gives you an idea for your next sales meeting. You have my permission to play this video before your team tries some ROLE PLAY. Have each salesperson give 3-featured demos complete with FABT to a partner before they switch roles. If they’re not willing to practice the exercise with a colleague, they’re not going to do it when it counts with live prospects.