Features Advantages Benefits Outcomes
Features Advantages Benefits Outcomes. Any salesperson who’s ever gone on a sales course has heard the sales Maxim, “features tell, benefits sell”, or some version of that. That’s certainly true. However, in consultative selling there’s the concept of Features, Advantages, Benefits Outcomes, or the FABO chain, which we’ll discuss here.
FABO Feature, Advantages, Benefits Outcomes was taught to me by an excellent sales trainer and ‘all round’ good guy David Carrighan of BlueZoom.The FABO chain is part of a much bigger concept called Value Selling Through Influence, but we won’t cover that here.
We’ve touched upon this subject before HERE.
The basic idea behind FABO selling is, if you can link the Features you provide to a Good Customer Outcome, both tangible and intangible, you’ve greatly increased your chances of winning the sale.
So, let’s start off with some definitions.
In sales, features refer to the specific characteristics or attributes of a product or service. Features can be tangible, such as physical components or technical specifications, or intangible, such as customer support or after-sales service.
Product features might include the size, weight, colour, or design of a product, the materials or say a function in software, like a connection to another system.
Take an Electronic Point of Sales system (EPOS), with a fully integrated accounts system. Fully integrated accounts is a feature.
In the context of the FABO chain an advantage is how the feature can be used. Advantages explain the significance of the feature.
Developing our EPOS fully integrated accounts feature example. All items entered at the point of sale filters down into the associated integrated ledgers; sales revenue, cost of sales and VAT. Enabling consolidated accounts, in real time and perhaps multiple companies. Here are the advantages.
Is the positive result that a customer can expect to receive from a feature. Traditionally benefits are the reasons why customers are motivated to make a purchase, as they provide value and meet their specific needs and desires. However, the FABO chain develops this concept further into outcomes.
The benefits of integrated accounts can mean that data is entered once, improves data accuracy, provides a full audit trail, real time reporting and enables informed decisions.
The Outcome concept in the FABO chain can be difficult to grasp and apply in each circumstance. It often challenges conventional thinking and attitudes but it’s the most powerful element of the Feature, Advantages, Benefits Outcomes or FABO chain concept.
Taking our integrated accounts example, the outcome could be freeing up time for other activities, peace of mind, control and a 360 degree view of the business.
However, the most powerful application of outcome is where the salesperson can uncover the hidden or perhaps subconscious outcome requirement. Then that’s something special!
Many years ago, I came across an example of this but at the time I didn’t know about FABO. In this example the potential customer was nearing retirement, the owner bought the fully integrated system from me. It was a complete ‘seed change’ for the business and he said that the reason he wanted to buy the system was to leave the business in ‘good stead’, after he passed it on to his son. Here was a perfect example of a ‘hidden outcome’ requirement that was the primary motivation for buying the system. Leaving the business in ‘good stead’ for his son.
The trick in the use of the FABO chain of Features Advantages Benefits Outcomes is, to understand through consultative selling technique, qualifying questions to ‘dig up’ the tangible and intangible outcome requirements. Then link the Features Advantages Benefits to the main motivation outcome requirements. It may be a difficult, if not impossible job but it’s there somewhere, lurking beneath the surface. If you can uncover it, link it to your solution, well then, you’re 90% of the way there.
We always like to offer a different perspective on any blog post, so here’s another angle on the topic HERE.