How Much Should You Sell?

BY Jessica Helinski
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How much of your product or service do you think clients and prospects really care about? Often, reps spend too much time talking about every single feature of what they’re selling, wasting both their and the prospect’s time. Instead, you only need to focus on about 20 percent, according to a recent article by John Barrows. “My experience is that customers only care about 20% of what our solutions offer and mainly only want the parts that align directly with their priorities,” he explains. 

Don’t fall into the common trap of going over every single feature for fear of leaving out something the prospect might like. Barrows points out, if you focus on making everything a must-​see, then nothing stands out. Additionally, you may lose out to a competitor who knows how to strategically sell that 20 percent. “You’ll get beat by someone with a lesser solution who knows how to focus their presentation on what the client actually needs and what aligns with their priorities,” Barrow writes. And that is the magic 20 percent. 

Focus your efforts on only those features that align with the prospect’s specific needs and pain points. To master this technique, it’s imperative you do quality research prior to the meeting. Discover industry challenges, uncover current problems, and find out about past and current vendors they use. He suggests putting extra emphasis on discovering what their priorities are and what their organization wants to accomplish. Even if you don’t find specifics, you can still get enough information to craft clarifying questions for your meeting. “Frame your questions to help uncover what their top priorities are and focus on the 20% of your product that can have the greatest impact on them,” Barrow explains.

Try this tactic with your next prospect. Save everyone time by cutting down your pitch and focus only on sharing information that is specific and relevant to the prospect. You’ll likely find that the 20% is all they need to sign a contract.