26 Jan

Sell more with FABs

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FAB is an acronym for Features, Advantages and Benefits – something that smart salespeople and marketers alike have been using to good effect for years in order to sell more.

If you’ve ever been interested in how to sell more, or how to better demonstrate value for your products and services, then it pays to understand how the FAB sales framework works.

FAB – A Common Sales Structure for Selling

Just to quickly put this into context, let’s put ourselves in Alex’s shoes for a moment.

Alex just walked into a DIY shop looking for a number of specific tools for a project. At the moment, he’s just looking around as he is actually unsure of what he needs to do the job, but he’s interested nevertheless, in the hopes of finding ‘items of interest’.

Along comes a salesperson, Jane, who happens to be well-versed in business development and sales proposal writing, but particularly how to sell using FABs.

So she asks Alex what he’s looking for. She then shows him an all-in-one tool that can help him get several tasks done in one go – rather than having to buy separate tools or hire specialist workers to get the project finished.

She explains to Alex how it’s ideal for a variety of DIY tasks, along with giving him a breakdown of key features to highlight the value proposition.

Alex seriously considers this option because it means that he can end his search right here and not look further for other tools that he might need.

Since the salesperson has highlighted the value proposition along with the key benefit (all in one/no need to hire specialist workers), Alex makes the purchase and calls it a day.

This might seem like a fairly basic ‘everyday’ kind of selling, but the FAB sales framework employed by Jane is a common strategy used to help interested buyers immediately see the key features, advantages and benefits of something that they are interested in.

If you’ve bought something with the help of a salesperson or making a decision using a website/brochure recently – chances are, the FAB technique was used to demonstrate value!

The key components of the FAB Sales Structure

Now then, let’s take a better look at the three key components of FAB selling:

Feature (What it is)

A feature is a distinct or unique attribute of a product. Features stand out easily when we take a closer look at a product. Let’s use an iPhone 12 as an example. It may have a variety of features like 5G connectivity, waterproof exterior, or extended battery life as an example.

If you’re using your phone a lot and need to be using the fastest connections, then these features will instantly stand out. Even if you’re new to iPhones, a salesperson will help highlight the benefits of specific features.

Advantage (What it does)

The advantage aspect helps buyers understand why a certain feature can prove advantageous for them. If you try to demonstrate value by saying that the iPhone 12 is the latest handset from Apple, then it won’t hold much weight.

However, if you’re selling someone specifically on the idea of the iPhone 12, then it makes sense to highlight the advantages based on their needs, by saying that you can use the phone in wet conditions and get the fastest connectivity speeds.

Benefit (What it means to your client)

This is where the FAB sales framework comes together. Rather than allow buyers to make assumptions about why certain features might prove useful for them, your job as a salesperson or marketer is to tell them why they truly matter for them.

To build the case for the iPhone, you could say “based on what you’ve told me about your active lifestyle and passion for gaming, this means that you won’t need to worry about your phone getting wet, or loading/buffering any games/films while you’re out on the road.”

Answering a direct need!

Closing thoughts

There are many smart ways you can use the FAB sales structure for not only selling in a shop but also for business development and proposal writing purposes in order to demonstrate value to any prospective customer.

FABs helps to clearly articulate why someone should buy a product and why it’s the only one they’ll ever need.


Try this exercise:

Using a similar matrix to the one displayed here, list all of your product or service features in one column, with their associated advantages and benefits in the other columns.

This will standardise your responses when communicating with customers, but also ensure that you are getting the point across to your buyers with clarity.

You never need to wonder if they understood it for themselves ever again!


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Written by Ben Bennett

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