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Benefit Selling

June 1, 2008

by Kit Cassingham

Talking to your potential guests in your brochure and website and on the phone should be geared toward helping them buy rather then selling to them. Focus on the benefits they derive from time at your bed and breakfast and you will open the door for them -- literally.

Benefit selling is excerpted from my ebook on B&B Marketing. Some people talk about selling to the guests' benefit, but the concept isn't always discussed in enough detail for people to translate how it applies to them. I'm hoping to make that connection for you here.

Benefit selling is promoting your inn's beneficial aspects so your potential guests understand what their experience will be. Your guests want to know what's in it for them in staying at your bed and breakfast. Understanding what aspects, or features, are beneficial to your market niche will help you. Be direct and use active voice so they don't have to guess why they should stay with you, as opposed to your competition -- or a hotel. The tapestry you weave with your words will make your message very clear and vivid to them. Pricing isn't a fact to turn into a benefit, unless it's to explain why your rates are higher than others'. Common facts used in selling a stay at your inn are the number of guestrooms, location, and decorating theme. Why does the person reading your brochure, web site or ad care about that? That's your challenge, to translate that fact into a benefit so they understand why they want to stay at your inn -- or why they don't.

Use "FAB" to help you write your brochure and your phone presentation, to make sales presentations, and to create your advertising.
F -- feature = fact
A -- advantage = result of the fact
B -- benefit = guest experience -- may be real or perceived

To help you think about how to sell with the benefits your inn offers use "SALES" which describes the five motivations of a buying decision. This is an important step to take so you can be aware of how to answer and address your guests’ needs an you write your promotional copy.
S -- security
A -- achievement
L -- love
E -- economics
S -- self esteem

Your challenge is to articulate your positioning. Innkeepers are salespeople. They promote their B&Bs constantly. You will too. Sales is persuasive communication. It builds emotion and desire for your product. To be most successful you must be flexible with your thinking and your implementation, gearing it to the style and needs of your "audience"/potential guest/marketing target. Don't over-promise; under-promise and over-provide.

The Benefit Selling tool of "FAB" helps keep you on track with the message you want potential guests to read. Use it to help you stay focused and on mark with your marketing message.




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