Are You Applying the "So What Factor"?
By: Tessa Stowe


Are you applying the "So What Factor" every time you talk about your products and services? If you are passionate about what you do, it is very easy to fall into the trap of telling potential clients as much as you can about the features of your products and services and ignoring the "So What Factor."

Are your potential clients really interested in listening to you talk about all the features of what you have to offer? The answer is no. What they're really interested in is WIIFM -What's In It For Me. They want to know what specific results, benefits and value they're going to get from your products and services.

So how do you make sure you always address the WIIFM when you talk about the features of what you have to offer?

It's simple: just apply the "So What Factor."

From now on, every time you mention a characteristic or feature of what you have to offer, follow it with a sentence to the effect "So what that means to you is...." By doing this you will be letting the potential client know the specific result, benefit and value they'll be getting from this feature. By doing this you are addressing the WIIFM.

The "So What Factor" links the features of what you have to offer to the WIIFM.

If you don't know what the "So What Factor" is for a feature then don't mention it to your potential client. Remember they always want to know WIIFM.

Here is a very simple example.

Let's suppose you sell elaborate telephones with lots of great features. You are very keen to let a potential client know that these phones have a memory of 100 numbers. This is a feature of the product, and by itself, means absolutely nothing.

Through your questioning (which you have, of course, done before talking about your solution), you uncover that the potential client has lots of friends and colleagues with whom they like to keep in touch. They keep all their numbers in a diary and they tell you that it is a bit of a nuisance sometimes as they can't find the diary when they want to call someone.

So when you get to the stage of talking about a phone, you could say something to this effect "This particular phone has a memory of 100 names so what that means to you is you'll be able to store the names of all your friends and colleagues, and easily call them by the push of a button. You'll be able to throw out your diary and save time."

You don't need to use the specific phrase "so what". The important thing to remember is that whenever you state a feature, immediately follow it with a phrase which effectively says "So what that means to you...." Think of the two as being locked together. Feature/So-what. Feature/So-what.

You may think the "So What Factor" is common sense. It is. Yet even though it is common sense, it's very rarely applied. Apply it and watch your sales results soar.

2007, Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation. WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? Yes, you can, provided you make all links live, include the copyright statement above the following by-line.

Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople 10 simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy.Sign-up for her FREE monthly newsletter that is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself at http://www.salesconversation.com. Every month Tessa interviews an expert on one specific aspect of selling and asks them to reveal their secrets. To participate in these teleseminars visit http://www.salesconversation.com/ssrteleseminars