Can you sell something that you neither know nor understand? Visit some retail stores and you will see people trying, but it doesn’t work. The best sales people know their product, can explain the advantages of its features and connect them as benefits to the customers. In sales-speak, it’s knowing features, functions and benefits. Used effectively, FFB helps make the sale.
As we are facing the historic, crippling, scary, panic-inducing prospect of winter storm Nemo (hype fully intentional) in the Northeast, the example of the common snow shovel seems appropriate. I know, snow shovels don’t need a lot of selling. The Weather Channel incites enough fear to guarantee a sell-out from New York to Bangor, but stick with me.
Our Snow Blaster 9000 has a key feature: an extra wide scoop. The function is that it can move a lot of snow in a single effort. The benefit is that the user can finish faster and get to his Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate with Mini Marshmallows faster. Simple!
How does this translate to your job search? That’s simple, too.
You are selling yourself, and as every skilled salesperson knows, you’ve got to know your product. When interviewing, you are selling your skills and abilities. You do that by giving examples of how you have demonstrated those abilities before. You wrap it up and make the sale by convincing the hiring manager that you will benefit the company in whatever way makes sense for the job.
Let’s consider a marketing specialist. She has expertise in social media. In fact, she launched a page on Facebook and generated 100,000 likes in 30 days. She discusses with the hiring manager her ideas on how she can help the prospective employer grow its business by bringing these proven skills with her. She has explained her ability, given an example, and presented a compelling case that she will be able to benefit the new employer.
Know yourself. Be ready to explain your abilities, examples and benefits. Make the buyer want the product: You!