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Sell Features or Sell Benefits? How To Get Your Customer To Bite

Want to know what marketers get confused more than anything else?

Features and benefits.  

They mix up the use of these two things and the result is deadly to your conversion rate.

Prospects can't handle confusion. The moment they become confused, they bail.

Remember that “a confused mind does not buy".

The only thing people care about is their own interest.

If your prospect doesn’t understand what’s in it for them, then you are both missing out.

Features are solid facts.

Features let your prospect know what to expect in regards to product detail. They explain physical shape, gadgets, widgets, functionality, accessibility, etc.

Often times, as product creators, we operate off of a feature outline as we are in development.

Don't make the mistake of thinking this outline will do the job of selling.

It will not. 

Features alone will not help them recognize that your product is the answer to their problem. 

I'm not saying to exclude features. I'm saying to make sure and explain BENEFITS. List your features lower on your product page, of course. This is useful to help them know what they get and how it will arrive.

You must explain the benefits. You must explain…

“What’s in it for me?”

You need to explain the better version of themselves that they will have after your product.

This is the short answer to the question, “What’s in it for me?”

Sometimes people confuse the two because a feature can sound like a benefit.

For instance, saying that a car has a sunroof may sound like a benefit, but it isn’t. The benefit of having a sunroof is what it does for you. 

Because it allows you to enjoy the cool breeze of an autumn drive. Because it allows you to naturally light your vehicle. Because it allows you to simulate the thrill of a convertible. Because you increase the perception of space in your car with luxurious simplicity.

And so on...

THAT is a key benefit of having a sunroof.

Feature selling doesn't allow the prospect to create an emotional connection. Without emotion, the conversion effect is much less likely.

We know that people usually buy based on emotion. Then THEY rationalize their action with their thinking brain.

Buying with the brain in mind

We buy because we want something (greed), or we fear something. All emotions are, in some way, based on either moving away from pain, or toward pleasure.

Our brains don't function well when things aren't congruent. So, we work psychologically to bring things into alignment.

If presented with an emotionally compelling offer, we buy it. Then we explain WHY we bought it to ourselves, often using the features as the explanation.

Turn your features into benefits.

In your own mind, state one of the features of your product. Then finish the sentence, “What this means to you is…”

In our example above, you can see how we turned a sunroof into a benefit.

You see, people may think they care about the features. They will even ask about them: “What color is it?” “How many modules are there?” “What are the specs?”

But features are all about your PRODUCT. Benefits are all about your PROSPECT.

More than that, benefits are about the result your prospect wants more than anything.

So this brings us to an important question.

What result does your prospect want?

Do you really know?

What if all your effort is for something nobody wants?

You must know what your prospect’s biggest concerns, complaints, confusions, fears, and challenges are.

Only when you live, eat, and breathe these problems can you provide a solution that will solve them.  If your solution(s) can take away their pain, then you both win.

So the key buying invitation must be based on several things:

  • knowing exactly what your prospect’s primary challenges and issues are
  • know what pain or fear your prospect wants to move away from
  • being able to clarify – in words – the desired emotions that will solidify the result your prospect wants
  • having a rock-solid solution that will help them solve those challenges and issues
  • the ability to connect your product with the emotions the prospect is seeking to solidify their rational thinking

Share in the comments your prospect's biggest fears, pains and desires. It'll be great practice for us all.