Not only am I on the road this week, I am in fact “off the grid”. I wrote this while on the plane to my “off the grid” destination.

Last week I had the privilege of presenting at a national conference for a prominent real estate organization. I asked the participants to role-play with me and document why a prospect should engage them to list the prospects’ properties, manage their buildings, represent their tenancy, lease their properties, refinance their real property assets, or any other service they may need.

During my flight, the attendant asked me if I wanted a snack. He simply told me what my choices were, without selling any option over the other. I selected the Craisins, otherwise known, as dried cranberries – and the flight attendant had absolutely no influence on my decision.

Similarly, most of the commercial real estate professionals in my session simply told me why I should engage their services. Common responses were “experience”, “market knowledge”, “tenure”, “national reach”. My response (and all of your prospects’ responses) to these standard answers is “so what?” What does your experience mean to me, and how does it differentiate you from the others who are pitching to me?

[Tweet “”Stop telling and stating features and start selling and sharing benefits.””]

Let’s revisit my snack selection. What if the flight attendant informed me that Craisins had no artificial flavors or preservatives, they are peanut free, gluten free and fat free, and the portion I selected equals ½ cup of fruit? Well, I may have responded “That’s nice, but so what?” In fact, everything the flight attended shared were features – he was TELLING me about the product, not selling it. Just like the attendees in my session last week.

Alternatively, what if the flight attendant said to me “Sir, I noticed you aren’t feeling very well. I think you need to put some fresh food in that body of yours. In fact, I see you are traveling with the entire family, so may I recommend this for everyone. No doubt you have a long trip ahead, and instead of filling up with our other snacks, Craisins have 12% of your dietary fiber, so this will help fill you up during your travels. You will be able to get better rest during your flight, and be more energized when you land. This will allow you to be more patient, more focused, and ultimately more relaxed. You will start off your vacation in a great frame of mind and allow you to set the tone for this vacation to be one your entire family remembers – not only next year, but forever. I know you will enjoy these Craisins, in fact let me give you two servings.”

Craisins anyone?

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