Sales revenue would come easier if your products had every capability that prospects thought they needed during the buying cycle. Unfortunately, it will never be reality. Your products will always be deficient in someone’s opinion.  Don’t sweat it. Here’s how to respond to  product deficiencies while still selling value.

1. When a prospect asks for a feature you don’t have, respond as follows:

  • “We don’t have a feature by that name, but tell me what you’re trying to accomplish and I’ll show you know how our product handles it.” 

By forcing the prospect to elaborate and describe a business scenario in which the feature will be used, you can answer yes or no definitively.  In many cases, the way your product handles a situation may be a big improvement over their current process, so if you respond with conviction and act like it’s no big deal, chances are your prospect will feel the same.

2. When you don’t have a feature or an acceptable workaround, respond as follows:

  • “How often does this situation occur?”

There is a 50/50 chance you’ll hear, “not that often, or, it’s a nice-to-have.”  The other 50% constitute a real need, and if it does you should gauge the importance of missing features against all the needs your product satisfies very well.  There’s still a chance your strengths outweigh your weaknesses and when they do, don’t be afraid to bring it to the attention of your prospective buyers.  It may be enough to get you over the hurdle.

Bottom line: Always put your product deficiencies into a big-picture perspective to minimize their impact on the overall business goals of the buyer.

3. When a prospect asks for a feature in a way that tells you they’ve been looking at a competitor:

You can respond one of two ways. First, clarify the business scenario to make sure you’re on the same page.

RESPONSE 1:  See 1 or 2 above and respond accordingly.

RESPONSE 2:  If you have a comparable solution that maybe not as cool or sexy as the competition, respond as follows:

“Yes, we have a solution and let me point out a few things that will be more beneficial than (competitor feature).”

Highlight steps in the customer’s business process or workflow that showcases your strengths and exposes the competitor’s flaws.  In a worst case scenario, you can create reasonable doubt by politely questioning the number of customers using the competition’s solution or pointing out that their one cool feature is a moot point because the rest of the product can’t handle other more critical needs.

The secret to selling around product deficiencies is to keep the discussions focused on the buyer’s big picture business goals and emphasizing the parts of your product that are most relevant in removing the hurdles.  In a perfect world, you’ll always understand big picture business objectives before a product demo and you’ll invest your time on prospects that give you the best chance making the sale. Unfortunately, it’s never a perfect world.

If you need to make the shift from selling tactical products to strategic business solutions, contact Proficientz to discuss how our Product Demo Training Courses can help you shorten sales cycles, improve win rates and expand the deal size.