How to write a killer sales document

You may have heard the phrase ‘people don’t buy drills, they buy holes’

This essentially breaks down to people don’t buy products because of the features listed. They buy them because of the benefits those features will give them.

They don’t actually want a 240v drill. What they really want is a hole in a wall so they can put a shelf up.

This is a very important distinction for us to be aware of in sales and marketing.

Let’s assume we are putting together a sales document for a painting and decorating business. The document is going to be designed to attract residential work rather than commercial. Parts of the document may be used on the company website, leaflets, brochures and even as part of the quotation pack.

As part of that document, we are going to want to include some bullet points about what makes us the best choice for the homeowner.

You may list out the following features:

  • 30 years’ experience
  • Dustless sanding
  • Durable paints
  • Spray finishing
  • Fully insured

These are the features. If it was a drill, this would be the battery life, voltage, power output etc.

These are all great, but they are not what the customer is interested in. The customer wants to know how these features will benefit them.

Let’s add the benefits to the bullet points:

  • 30 years’ experience – We’ve helped thousands of homeowners just like you to transform their homes into something beautiful. Our reliable and friendly staff are trained on all aspects of decorating and are always on hand to help you turn your vision into a reality
  • Dustless sanding – We use the latest in dustless sanding technology to not just ensure a perfectly smooth finish, but also a clean working environment throughout the process
  • Durable paints – We work with manufacturers to test the latest in paint technology. Our durable paints mean that any scuffs or marks that might happen when we’re gone can be easily cleaned and you won’t need to touch it up with more paint!
  • Spray finishing – We often use spray technology as part of our decorating process. This not only gives you a flawless finish, but it is often much faster, meaning you get your space back sooner
  • Fully insured – We have public liability insurance of £5,000,000. This means you can rest easy in the knowledge that if there were to be any issues or accidents, you are completely covered

So that’s your features and your benefits.

Simply adding the benefits will make your offer vastly more appealing. However, we can go one step further.

You may have heard the phrase, ‘people buy with emotion, and justify with logic’

If we want to go one step further than features and benefits then we must engage the emotions of the customer.

To do this, we need to show them how the benefits will make them FEEL.

In the example above, I would look to summarise the benefits and how they will make the customer feel in a short paragraph.

For example:

We take immense care in our work because we want you to feel proud of your home. We understand that when you hire a trades person you want to be able to relax in the knowledge that everything will be done to the highest possible standard and you can simply walk back in to a newly transformed room. This is what we do. We take all the stress and hassle out of the process and deliver a beautifully decorated space that will make you the envy of your friends and family.

How do you explain your service to customers? Do you just list out features? Do you include benefits? Or do you go all the way and engage emotions?

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