Role play using the “So what?” test to spell out the benefits

This is Part Four in our series on ‘Spelling out the Benefits’ for your customers. You can access the earlier posts by clicking on these links:

Part One – Spelling out the benefits that matter to your customer

Part Two – Creating a verbal bridge

Part Three – Why bother to state the features if people buy on benefits

A great way of spelling out and capturing the benefits for your products and services is to use the “So, what?” test. First, a health warning: It may help to go into training like a boxer before you start using this “So, what?” test with one another.

Why?  Because the salesperson may feel like punching the person playing the customer who keeps responding to each benefit with “So what?”

So, learn to duck and weave, duck and weave, duck and weave.

Then, arrange to do a role play with a colleague where you are the salesperson and your colleague is the customer. And ideally have a third person as observer to pick up on the explanations.

So what cartoonDecide on your product and customer type. Then ‘salesperson’, state a key feature. The customer responds to this by saying, “So, what?”

For example:

  • We’ve been in business for 25 years – “So, what?”
  • It comes in 6 colours – “So, what?”
  • It has a 14 inch full HD display – “So what?”
  • It has a 5-year warranty – “So what?”

This means that the salesperson will have to translate the feature into a meaningful benefit. To illustrate this, let’s further explore the first example above:

  • We’ve been in business for 25 years – “So, what?”
  • Which means we’ve built up a lot of experience – “So, what?”
  • Which means that no matter what issues you’ve been having with your Thingamyjig* we’ve got the knowledge and experience to solve the problem quickly and effectively – “So, what?”
  • So, you will be back into production with it quickly without costly downtime – “Great, that’s what I need!”

As you can see, each time a response isn’t completely clear, the ‘customer’ again says, “So, what?”

This help the salesperson to dig deeper and in so doing, create relevance for your customers. It may seem like an over the top way of capturing and clarifying the benefits but it will alert you both to the dangers of assuming that the benefits are obvious to potential customers.

* n.b. Thingamyjig is a technical term for a Whojamyflik sometimes confused with a Thingamybob or a Doovalacky.

Visual courtesy of Shutterstock

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Jurek Leon is a storyteller, speaker and trainer. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly 'Terrific Tips' e-newsletter at Alternatively, email