In B2B Sales, there is a saying that you should sell the benefits that your product or service delivers, not the product or service itself.

Here is an example: I recently spoke with the CEO of a chemical supply company. They sell specialist cleaning products to commercial and industrial businesses such as hotels, restaurants, schools, automotive workshops, etc. The sales team is selling the products old-school door to door by visiting potential client sites and by promoting the features, specs and efficacy of the cleaning products.

The CEO came to me looking for new ideas for revenue growth and on how to sell more of the slow-moving but high-margin items.

I asked him whether he had considered selling what I call “The benefits of the benefits”.

What did I mean by that?
Let’s say, you sell a can of graffiti remover to a high school. What do you actually sell?
Are you selling the can, or the removal of the graffiti?
If you answered “the removal of the graffiti” then you need to read on. If you answered “the can”, then you really need to read on.

Are you selling the can, or the removal of the graffiti?

Let’s examine the Benefits of the Benefits

What could be the positive consequences for the school of having the graffiti removed?

  1. The school will no longer look like it had been taken over by a crime gang.
  2. The cleaner image will improve the reputation of the school in the community.
  3. The teachers, the staff and the principal will enjoy a better reputation.
  4. Parents will more readily send their kids to this school because it now looks and feels safe.
  5. With a cleaner image and an improved reputation, the school will attract higher-quality teachers.
  6. Higher quality teachers will attract more students.

It’s happiness all around.

So, coming back to my question to the CEO of the cleaning products company: Think about it… what are you really selling?

Are you selling a can of graffiti-remover, or are you selling a better school in a happier community?

So, next time you are on a sales call, think about selling more than just a product or a service, consider selling the benefits of the benefits.

Contact me if you’d like some help with that.:-)

Peter Strohkorb is the CEO of Peter Strohkorb Consulting International, a business consulting firm specialising in B2B sales and marketing alignment and effectiveness. Peter is an international keynote speaker, acclaimed business author, Executive MBA guest lecturer and a sought-after sales and marketing advisor.

To learn more, visit or check out his page on the TBS Media Hub.

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