Features Vs Benefits

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Features Vs Benefits….The Ultimate Battle for Sales

I want to talk to you about how to move from feature-oriented marketing to benefit-oriented marketing with just 3 easy questions. And we’ll look at how you might be able to use benefit orientated marketing tools to your advantage.

If you begin to write your marketing material in terms of benefits rather than features, your conversion rate and sales should increase.

This happens simply because benefits take some of the intangible services you or your products offer customers and turn them into something your customers can grasp, something tangible.

Your prospective customers are then better able to recognise the differences between you, your products and services, and your competitors.

In fact, it means, too, that your average sale will increase because your customers become better educated to the value they’re being offered, so price becomes less and less of an issue.

The ‘FAB’ Rule

The key to successful marketing lies in your ability to communicate your message effectively to your existing and potential clients. This is usually achieved through some sort of marketing material or sales tool such as brochures, flyers, letters, ads, profiles of what you do, and so on.

This material is designed to support you and your team in your efforts to educate your potential customers and to convince those potential customers to buy from you.

To do that successfully, you and your marketing material have to ‘talk’ in a language they understand.

That language is often not the one you use to communicate to colleagues, suppliers, business associates, or team members.

To give you an example, computer salespeople talk in their own language about megabytes, MIPS, RAM, ROM, SIMMS. In doing so, they confuse and alienate the potential client.

The language that works best for your clients is one that explains ‘What’s In It—For Me?’ One that explains not just the features of your products and services, but also the advantages and benefits of your products and services.

Your task then, is to put yourself in your clients’ shoes and create benefit statements for all the features of your business. Think of the features as the ‘facts’ about the business.

For example, ‘Our business has been established for 27 years.’ One potential client could read that and think, “Great, that’s just what I want—a good, stable, solid company.” However, another might read the same thing and think, “No, I want someone new, fresh, and innovative. They’re probably a bit staid after all that time.”

When you state a feature or a fact about the business, each individual will make up their own mind as to what that means to them. Instead, your marketing material must tell them exactly what it means to them to help them make the right decision!

So when you state a fact about the business, like the age of the business or the experience of the team members or any other feature, you must take the next step and tell the reader—specifically—why that’s good for them.

For example, ‘Our business has been established for 27 years’ could change to ‘You’ll benefit from 27 years’ experience.’ In that way, you’re telling the reader ‘What’s In It—For Me?’ They no longer need to decide what it means to them. You’ve told them directly and removed that decision for them.

Here are 3 questions you can ask yourself to begin that process. It’s what’s called the ‘FAB Rule,’ which stands for Features, Advantages, and Benefits. Consider this example for a lawn mower store.

Q1. What are the features?

  1. This model has 6 blades, all fully adjustable in height, dual fuel tanks, ride-on capacity, an emergency stop button, and power steering.

Q2. What is the advantage?

  1. The 3-way action of the 6 blades means that everything from weeds to grass to small saplings, if need be, can be cut cleanly. Because the blades are adjustable in height, you can cut your grass to varying levels—long or short or somewhere in the middle—whatever suits you best.

Dual fuel tanks means the weight of the fuel in the mower is evenly distributed, and that makes controlling the vehicle child’s play.

It’s a ride-on mower with power steering, which makes mowing and manoeuvring large or small areas a breeze.

The emergency stop button means you’re protected in case of an accident. You simply hit the big red button, and the blades stop immediately.

Q3. So what?

  1. You’ll have an easy-to-use, safe tool that allows you to control not only the growth of your lawn but also its appearance. Better yet, this mower makes mowing fast and easy to do, giving you more time to enjoy your garden and less time working hard in it!

You’ll notice how the 3 questions quickly take you from the feature—your point of view—to the advantage and benefit—your customer’s point of view.

Ultimately, you’ll need to expand the full list of your products’ or services’ features into customer-focused benefit statements.

For something just as powerful, you can create this kind of benefit-oriented marketing material to promote your business as a whole, rather than the individual product or service groups you offer.

For example, the lawn mower store could begin to repeat this process by listing 6 features of the centre itself. Such as:

  1. 27 years in business
  2. A wide range of mowers and gardening equipment
  3. Experienced, technically trained, helpful team members
  4. Weekend trading
  5. A service and repair department
  6. Free delivery service

Next, to create an advantage for each feature, ask the question ‘which means to my customers…?’

For example

  • 27 years in business means we’ve been here, literally, since mowers were invented! Those years have given us a huge range of experience you can benefit from. No matter what you need for your lawns and gardens, you’ll be able to pick and choose, and we’ll have something that will suit you.
  • Better yet, all the staff you’ll be dealing with are accredited horticulturists. After years of study and hands-on training, they know just want to do to make your lawn and garden perfect—including which mower will be best for your type and size of lawn and your budget.
  • Also, we’re available at times that will suit you, particularly on weekends when you probably need us most!
  • Not only that, let’s face it—mowers aren’t always the easiest items to transport. That’s why when you have your mower serviced or repaired or buy a new mower from the centre, we’re happy to deliver it right to your door—free! Consider it just one way we want to make your life easier!

From here, play ‘devil’s advocate’ and ask the questions… ‘So What? What’s in it for me? What’s the real benefit to me of that particular feature?’ Perhaps…

That means you can relax knowing you’ll benefit from expertise that is second to none and get the right equipment for the job. You can count on our advice to make your garden and lawns prosper. So you’ll have more time to do the things you love and enjoy your garden instead of spending all your time working in it!

You may need to write several versions of this material for your different target markets. Using another example, this time a casting and modeling agency, 2 documents could be created: one to specifically target the parents of the children who want to promote their children as potential actors and another to target casting houses and advertising agencies to differentiate this agency from its competitors.

For example, you could create a document called:

‘6 Reasons Why You’ll Benefit by Dealing with [Your Business Name]’

You’ll have ‘Our Guarantee of Quality.’

At XYZ Security, we believe you deserve the best. That’s why we only design, manufacture, and install quality products. To be sure you can be confident, we’d like to offer you this simple guarantee: If you are not 100% delighted with the products we create for you or the products we supply you, all you need do is let us know and we’ll fix it to your delight within 48 hours.

Better yet, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re covered by this full money back guarantee for 12 months, so you can relax, knowing you’re dealing with the professionals who are willing to stand by their work.

You’ll have our full commitment.

To offer a huge range of solutions for you and to create and deliver quality products for your home quickly and for a reasonable investment. So you can rest assured you’ll receive just what you need to make your home safe and sound.

You’ll be able to pick and choose.

Designs, styles, types, specific requests, and so on. It’s totally up to you. You can choose from our recommendations—we simply want to ensure you have what YOU need and want. Perhaps, more importantly, what you KNOW you’ll enjoy owning and will return your investment, plus some, in the future.

Your home will be treated with care and respect.

In fact, after installing our products, we guarantee to leave your home exactly as we found it. You’ll probably agree—there’s nothing worse than tradespeople who leave a mess behind for you to clean up. That’s why we guarantee to clean up after ourselves!

You’ll benefit from attention to detail.

XYZ Security will take care to pay attention to every detail of your requirements. That way, you can relax knowing your job will be completed perfectly.

You’re dealing directly with the manufacturer.That means you’ll receive exactly what you asked for in the finished product—not to mention the price advantage

Our way of doing things is unique and it’s why it produces unique results for our clients…

We would love the opportunity to help you clear your head on what is the right way for you to accelerate your business… 

We highly recommend you watch this step-by-step case study of how we grew Beefy’s Pies into a Famous Aussie Icon from a small stressed out bakery into a family owned chain. Click here to get all the insights into their success…

Or if you have heard enough about how we work with our small business owners, then let’s have an off the record chat about your current situation and see what we can do to immediately guide you…click this link to see what time best suits you.

Wayne Hutcheson

P.S. Ask if our Boardroom Program intake is open for enrolments…It works best for business owners who see the benefit of having us on as their ‘external partner’ so that they are not alone in the day to day decisions of their business. 









About the Author:

Wayne Hutcheson is a Coach of the highly regarded Grow Business Grow Boardroom Program. He works closely with a hand full of clients to help them achieve growth in their business and to enjoy 'guilt-free' time away from their business without it affecting their profitability.
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