Features, Advantages and Benefits

Most of us have heard of these words when applied to business. Indeed, they form one of the cornerstone principles of effective sales and marketing.

It is an area however, that is often misunderstood. The failure to fully appreciate the following principle has lead to the decline of many sales and marketing campaigns.

All businesses have one thing in common; they are managed by human beings. As  potential customers, most of us react far more positively to messages that are emotional and evocative, rather than bland messages with lots of technical content.

As a species, we are rather selfish by nature! It would be fair to say that most people are not really interested in you, or your product or service. They are interested in what this means to them. People do not buy products, they buy solutions to problems.

Listing lots of features normally involves talking about you and your product. In the technical sales arena for instance, this may be enough, but even then, features are not usually a strong initial selling point.

Advantages are a stronger sales tool, because they inevitably begin to show the potential customer what can be done with the product or service.

Benefits however, usually involve more emotion, and get to the real point as to why the potential customer should buy. Benefits will resonate with people more and feel more personal; they connect with people.

Let me give you an example of a product aimed predominantly at the single male market……..

 

Feature

This car has a 4.2 litre supercharged V8 engine, with Cleantech wizz bang technology.

(“Are you sold yet? What does all that mean? Do you understand it? Do you care?…”)

 

Advantage

This means that it will do 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds with a top speed of 182 mile per hour.

(“Wow, that’s pretty quick, sounds great!  But is it enough? Do I really desire it?”)

 

Benefits 

With the roof down, and the wind rushing through your hair, it will feel great to be alive!

All your mates will gather around the car, want to drive it and be jealous.

It will impress, and help you attract the ladies!

(“I need one of those, where do I sign?”)

 

Please excuse the rather obvious example, but you can see where I was going with this.

`Benefit Selling` is not appropriate in all situations, but it is in most. It is particularly powerful when trying to catch attention, and attract new customers.

To get to the benefit, try asking “which means what?” when you start looking at features. Sometimes you will get no further than advantages. Sometimes it will just boil down to a couple of base human desires.

 

Sometimes you will discover an amazingly powerful message to attract new business.

 

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