Selling with IBS … It Isn’t What it Sounds Like

The life and times of a sales rep, in my experience, can be best described as a roller coaster marathon. The highs are high and the lows are low, but one thing is for sure … it doesn’t stop. Regular traditional and old-school prospecting techniques are pretty much dead, and us hunters must take a more creative approach to connect. When we do get the opportunity to communicate our “message,” which is rare, we must take full advantage of what is usually a 10-second window to pique their interest and capture their attention.

The way this is accomplished is through the infamous “IBS.” Of course when you hear this, you immediately think irritable bowel syndrome, which falls under a completely different blog subject. When we achieve the opportunity to connect with a prospect, it’s all about the Initial Benefit Statement. This statement is critical and immediately addresses the following 3 questions for the prospect: Who are you? Why are you here? And what can you do for me?

The IBS is essential to creating an engaging dialogue between you and the prospect, with the goal of convincing them that they NEED your services, and that it is imperative that you both discuss further. Example initial benefit statement for someone selling Fathom’s services to a retail prospect:

  • Who are you?
    • “Mark from Fathom digital marketing, a top 5 digital retail agency.”
  • Why are you here?
    • “We work with internet retailers to drastically increase customer acquisition.”
  • What can you do for me?
    • “We did research on ‘Company ABC’ and have strategies to increase online sales by 22-45.%

We want to establish right from the start that we have strategies to help them. Forget the cheap introductions and spending 30 seconds explaining who Fathom is and what accolades we’ve received over the years. They don’t want to hear that. We must remember, they don’t want to talk to us, so you better make the most of the time they give you and IMMEDIATELY establish what value you can provide to them. Thankfully, Fathom’s services directly impact their bottom line: REVENUE!


Prepare for the August 2014 shopping search transition with Google Shopping and data feed optimization:

Guide: The New Google Shopping

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