The importance of a compelling message or pitch can’t be stressed enough. After all, if your prospect doesn’t know what you are selling, how can they be interested? Your job as a sales professional is to make the buying process as easy as possible for the buyer. You can do this by defining the problem to be solved, introducing an effective solution to that program, and addressing results before they even have to ask it.
Most salespeople focus on the features of their product and what they are doing. They talk about their investment process, how they created it, what companies they own, etc. The thing is those are all features. And while features do play an important role, the benefit of the product must be highlighted in order to convince someone it is worth buying.
#1 – What’s the Problem to be Solved?
So often Portfolio Managers confuse features and benefits. Benefits are as simple as, “it reduces risk and increases return,” or “it gives you zero correlation to the market.” Doing this requires being dialed into your target market in order to really understand what benefits are appealing to them. Which is why you’ll want to answer two essential questions:
- What is this strategy intended to do for your portfolio?
- How is it expected to perform in different market conditions?
#2 – Introducing an Effective Solution
When you answer these questions, you are ready to address the problem that needs to be solved and subsequently your strategy’s value proposition or solution to the problem. You should be able to effectively answer the question: what is your unique way of solving the problem?
#3 – Address the Results of Your Strategy
The third leg of this sales narrative equation is communicating the results. The proof statement comes after defining the problem and the potential solutions or value proposition. Ultimately, they are going to want to know the following: What role do you play in my portfolio – conservative or momentum growth. Upside/downside capture. What position do you play on the field? How does the strategy perform in different market environments? Be prepared to provide well-supported answers to these questions as it relates to the specific prospect you are speaking with; remember, each buyer/prospect is unique.
Remember, your job is to make the buying process easy on your buyer – the whole goal is to provide information the way the buyer wants to receive it. At the end of the day, the buyer must put pen to paper and make a case; that is why the narrative is so critical.