What Numb3rs Demonstrated About Selling Benefits

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle

Apr 12

As we were watching one of my favorite shows, Numb3rs, Friday night, I saw a fabulous demonstration of salesmanship and the use of benefit statements all in a non-sales role. In “Animal Rites,” Episode 19, Animal Rights Eco Terrorists attacked CalTech research labs and killed a professor. FBI agents David Sinclair and Liz Warner called on an animal rights group to find out where the terrorists hung out. At first, the leader did not want to give any information on fellow activists. Then Sinclair said to him, “They already killed someone, and they are hurting your cause.” After a pause, the leader told him where the people advocating violence gathered because Sinclair was right.

The point this program made so clearly is that salesmanship and benefit statements are not limited to people who sell for a living. Everyone sells, every day. It’s a natural part of life. The key to being good at it is to think from the viewpoint of your prospect or customer. The standard question that we all think about when someone is trying to sell us is, “What’s in it for me?” Sales professionals call that WIIFM.

That’s what Alimi Ballard’s character remembered when he sold the animal rights group’s leader on helping him. Their group was being harmed by the eco terrorist activities because most people who might care about supporting animal rights would be inclined to avoid violence thus be turned off.

Notice here that neither the sale nor the benefit had anything to do with money. Yet a sale was made with a result that was a win-win.  David Sinclair understood what his prospect cared about and aligned with his wants and needs. Both sides got what they needed.

That’s what it’s all about when as a salesperson you help customers buy. You think about their problems, their wants and perceived needs and then you help them get the solution that fits. The result is, you get a sale — in the process, you have fun, develop a good relationship with your customer who gets it that you truly care, and the sale is mutually rewarding.

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About the Author

My first Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, went live on April 24, 2012. https://amzn.to/2BaP2AH I've lived a lifetime of service and spiritual search so it's natural for me to incorporate these attitudes into my work. I believe that selling and marketing are spiritual service when done with a heart-centered, relationship selling approach. All of business success comes down to building strong relationships.