Features Do Not Sell Because They Appeal To Our Logic
If you followed the tips I shared in my Your Unique Selling Proposition blog post, you will have a good, clear USP for your business and have the answer to the all important question, “Why should I buy from you?”.
Have you ever heard someone refer to “selling the sizzle and not the steak”? This saying and what it refers to leads nicely into the topic of benefits versus features. A common mistake I regularly come across is the tendency for websites to do little more than present a list of information, which is just an uninteresting list of features. It is important to realise that this will not remotely interest your potential customers.
Remember, one click and you’ve lost your potential customers.
Your potential customers only read your sales message to find out what’s in it for them. The best way to convey this is with a list of benefits and not features. Benefits appeal to our emotions and this is extremely important to remember. This is because it’s the benefit to your customer and how you present it to them that will determine your success! It is essential that you can separate features from benefits.
This is a concept that many find confusing so here is an example.
A car’s 1600cc engine is a feature of the product whilst a $500 a year saving in fuel cost is a benefit to the customer. The benefit is a direct or sometimes indirect result of a feature. Since your customer benefits from the product features, you need to begin by compiling a full list of product features. Look at it from every possible angle when compiling your feature list.
Remember that every feature must be presented as a benefit to your customer. Benefits that specifically solve their problem and give them what they want are effective.
Using The “So What?” Method
So how do you go about turning features into benefits? One is the “so what?” method. You simply take a product feature and ask the question “so what?” and write the answer. This will help you easily identify your product/service benefits. Here are three examples.
Feature – it folds flat … so what?
Benefit – it saves valuable space in your bedroom.
Feature – it sorts your e-mail automatically … so what?
Benefit – it provides you with an extra 30 minutes per day to spend on your business.
Feature – the oven preheats quickly … so what?
Benefit – Life is less stressful. There’s less hanging around the kitchen waiting for the oven to get ready. And you don’t have to worry you might forget to preheat your oven.
These examples illustrate how much more powerful your sales message can be when you take the time to identify the benefit of each of your product or service feature. Remember, your customers experience the benefits and not the features.
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