I’m sure you’ve heard the benefits vs. features rant a million times by now.
Most marketers and business owners ‘know’ the distinction between features and benefits, but still focus *only* on features. Why? Because features are easier to draft up than benefits. Benefits require thought and insight into what your product or service really does. That kind of thinking is no bueno for the lazy.
This is going to sound harsh, but it’s very honest: all your prospects care about is what’s in it for them.
They don’t care about awards you’ve won, technology you’ve invented, or processes you’ve simplified. They care about the benefit of those features or achievements. They want to know what it means for them. Would you care about the awards an auto dealership won or their 5-star customer service rating or the free lifetime oil changes if you knew the car they sold you was going to be a lemon? The obvious answer: hell no. That’s not the result you want or are expecting so the features are completely irrelevant.
Lets go over a quick example…
Feature: Over 500 styles of dress shirts to choose from
Benefit: Always be the most stylish person in the room with a unique dress shirt that makes you look the part, every single time.
A feature is something that describes a product or service.
A benefit is the end result of that feature. If there is no causal link between a desirable end result and one of your features, it’s a crappy feature. It’s fluff. Air. Snake oil.
Before you get carried away and take this the wrong way…
Features are important. Features tell people what they’re getting. This is especially true with technical products or services but benefits still outweigh features 10,000% of the time. Yeah. 10,000%.
I hear you over there…
but Tom…I don’t know what the real benefit is! I have ‘benefit block.’
The good news is that I’ve got your back. Let me show you my favorite technique for drawing out the benefits of any feature of your product or service.
List out all of your features into a spreadsheet or word document, then add “so you can…” to the end of each feature and complete the sentence. The point is to give the feature context and show why it’s useful, what it’s going to do, or how it’s going to help achieve the end result the customer is looking for.
Lets put this idea into play:
Feature: Proprietary sorting algorithm developed by world-class software engineers.
Benefit: …so you can save 15 hours a week with an optimized workflow and say goodbye to busywork.
See the difference?
Your turn. 🙂