Giving Information

Giving Information

Giving information is supposed to be what salespeople do best.  The difficulty is that the information you have about your product and the information you consider important, may or may not be the information your potential customer needs in order to make a sensible purchasing decision.  Giving out the wrong information in many cases, can be worse than giving out no information at all.  Therefore, in the Giving Information phase, you need to dispense your wisdom selectively so that it facilitates a better understanding of the customer's situation and enables you to work together toward appropriate solutions.

Fig. 24, Giving Information section collapsed

In order to be effective, the information you give your customer has to do two related things:

  1. Help you identify the fit between your product or service and the customer's Concept.
  2. Clearly differentiate your solution to his problem from the solutions being offered by your competition.  The information you give out must do more than prove you're a candidate for the business, it must demonstrate that you're offering the best solution.

Differentiating - Why It's Important

Buyers can perform the selection process for purchasing something one of two ways.  They can make the selection at random, or they can make the selection by differentiating - by acting on a perceived distinction between one option and all the others.  It is critical to provide help so your customers can see the distinction.  Therefore, the fundamental task in the Giving Information phase of the sales call is to highlight those areas where you are different, in other words, your Unique Strengths.

Fig. 24a, Strength areas to consider

Unique Strengths

Unique Strengths is quite different from the traditional product-related notion of features and benefits.  The basic difference between the two approaches to giving product information, is that the "features-and-benefits" idea starts with the product, while Unique Strengths starts with the customer's Concept and then enables you to relate the product to the a Concept.

When considering what you have to offer as unique strengths consider the following areas for possible Unique Strengths:

Remember to ask yourself:

How does this Unique Strength meet this person's image?

How does it hook up to her solution image?

To add your Unique Strengths in the Green Sheet, Click the Add Icon in the Giving Information section to open the section.  Type your text into the input field for "Unique strengths", "So what"  and "Prove it".  Click "Done" when you are ready to save your entries.  To delete an entry in all three components, click on the Trash Can icon, and click yes when prompted to delete.

Fig. 24b, Giving Information, expanded

So What

For every Unique Strength, put yourself in your customer's place and ask "So what?"  This often reveals startling gaps in information.  What this also does is test the validity by focusing on the customer's  Concept.  You can have an impressive list of Unique Strengths, but if they don't relate to the solution image a client wants, they're going to be useless, or they will distract from finding an appropriate fit.

Prove It

Prove It is a second and more demanding validity test to further focus your Unique Strengths.  For each Unique Strength, write an ending to these two sentences:

"We are the only ones who..."

"We are different because..."

There are no right or wrong answers, and your "proofs" don't have to elaborate.  However, if you can't find something different in either sentence than it may require more thinking about your truly Unique Strengths.  Once you have gone through this process and further tested the value of each Unique Strength by "proving it", you'll have a list of differentiating qualities that are clear, concise and easy to highlight.

Suggested Items for Unique Strengths

If the Repository Icon is available, then Suggested items for Giving Information exist.  Instead of clicking on the Add icon, click on the Repository Icon to open the Suggested Items list.  Click to check one or more items in the list, then click "Done" to add the selected items to the Giving Information section.

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