Every Customer Wants This Answer

By Ted Ings, Executive Director

"What's in it for me?”

In sales, it’s critical that you answer this question.

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A famous sales quote says, “Customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Showing customers that you are interested in their needs is vital to success in both sales and service.


That’s because all the customer really wants to know is, “What’s in it for me?” or “What’s the benefit to me?”

Whether you're selling vehicles or needed maintenance and repairs, always present the features and advantages first

A feature is an observable characteristic of your product or service. Features remain unchanged whether the prospect buys or not.

Salespeople often work long and hard on their product knowledge and presentations. Some salespeople can tell you everything there is to know about every model that came out since the dawn of time. They can tell you what it is and how it works. For example, a salesperson might say:

“If you like performance, this car has a 3.8-liter V-6 that produces 215 horsepower and 217 lbs.-ft torque.”

An advantage is what the feature does, the service or function that it performs. An advantage of having the 3.8-liter V-6 engine is that this vehicle is equipped with a superior powertrain and the latest technology.


But stopping at the features and advantages of a product isn’t enough to provide customers with a reason to buy. They need to know how it will benefit them.

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A benefit is the payoff of the advantage or the value it provides to this individual prospect.

A simple rule for presenting "What's in it for me?"

Always follow the feature and advantages with the statement: “What that means to you is…”

So in our previous example, it would sound like this:

“If you like performance, this car has a 3.8-liter V-6 that produces 215 horsepower and 217 lbs.-ft torque. It’s a superior powertrain with the latest technology. What that means to you is that when you need to accelerate quickly, this vehicle will provide you with the right kind of power to meet your needs.”

The features, advantages, benefit formula applies to both salespeople and service advisors, who often have the need to explain needed maintenance or costly repairs. The formula makes it easier for prospects to justify buying. Now you're armed and dangerous.

Presenting the benefit (“What’s in it for me?”) will help you build value quickly and allow the customer to take mental ownership, and what that means to you is more money in your pocket!