By Ann Convery
So this is the deal…. let me tell you about Joanne. She’s one of the smartest people I know when it comes to grabbing people’s attention. She was a business strategist and a good copywriter, and she knew her stuff backwards and forwards. If she got into a private discussion with you she’d solve your problems like that. But when she got in front of a prospect, and there was a whiff of a sale in the air, (little laugh) she started babbling, and it was driving her nuts. She was watching people walk away. And she was at the point of abandoning her business, in fact her husband was pushing her to let it go, and find a job. And here=s how we turned it around for Joanne and this is the same thing that will turn it around for you.
Because Joanne was a great coach, she was a great teacher. And I know a lot of you are good teachers. And teachers tend to stay teach way before they should – like, talk about how great the features of their service or programs are to people they’ve just met.
And Joanne was scared of being salesy, so she retreated into her comfort zone, teaching. She’d say, I’m not only an MBA, I’m a certified NLP practitioner, so when I coach with people I’m able to get into what’s blocking them immediately, and remove the blocks so they go much faster. In fact we do that on the first session. And because I do laser-coaching on unconscious blocks, , my clients get a global vision of their business in the first session, blah blah blah blah blah blah… these are features.
Here Joanne was telling everyone she met how much she could give them, and there is nothing that turns off a prospect faster than features. And the biggest mistake people make is that they use adjectives to make their features sound really cool. Too many adjectives — can actually kill a sale. Joanne ended up several times in tears in the ladies’ room at networking events.
And she realized that all her emails were stuffed with features, which is why she had such a poor open rate. So we actually put a sign on her desk and in her purse that said “No Features.” The only thing she talked about was results. She said, “Clients come to me when their backs are against the wall. Like Tom. By the time he called me, they’d turned off his light bill and he hadn’t had a client in three months. 60 days later, he had 4 new clients, 6 good prospects, and his monthly income had gone from 0 to 16,000.”
She realized what most of us just don’t realize about features—and it sounds stupid, but they’re an addiction, and they’re dangerous. They’re so comfortable, especially for teachers. And they’re like a huge brick wall between you and the clients who really want to work with you. Why are they so dangerous? They’re dangerous because block feeling.
When you talk about features, you’re asking your clients to think. And they do. But they don’t feel. And if your audience doesn’t feel, nothing happens. No sale happens, no signing happens. Nothing moves. And that’s why it’s so mysterious, that’s why it’s so painful, and that’s why you can’t put your finger on it. People keep asking you – “What do you do?” How do you do that?
And so you tell them. And it’s like handing chocolate to a chocoholic; the addiction kicks in.
“Ooooh, this feels so good, I’m talking about my best features. I’m talking about those degrees I worked so hard to get.” And they disappear. Your audience disappears. Features are such an innocent, tragic mistake that can keep you from thousands of dollars that are just outside your door, they’re waiting. And you’re turning them off.
And it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to suffer and neither does your income. Just take the features out of your conversation, and out of most of your copy. And talk about your results instead.
Copyright © Ann Convery 2012