This is one of those “drift” situations.
And by “drift,” I mean how we’re focused on a new skill when we first learn it, but over time, we get a little sloppy and drift further and further away from what we should be doing.
Yet this persuasion strategy is one of the most important pieces of your marketing message and it’s taught, emphasized, and reiterated by ALL marketing teachers.
So most of us really hit it hard when our minds have it front and center, but over time we get lazy and forget just how important it is.
And what is this strategy?
Here are a couple examples—I’m sure you’ll figure it out:
1) Nobody wants to buy nutritionally complete vitamins… they want to feel healthy, strong, and have vibrant energy.
2) Nobody cares about the latest and greatest cell phone technology, they want clean, clear streaming and the ability to instantly connect with anyone from anywhere.
3) No one wants the perfect hole drilled in their wall—they want a way to hang that one-of-a-kind portrait that beautifies the room and brings back precious family memories.
You guessed it, today’s blog is about FEATURES vs BENEFITS, which you may think is Marketing101, but if you look around at even the big time, multi-million-dollar TV ads, you’d think someone didn’t get the memo.
Same with online marketing.
If you pay attention, you’ll see that even the best and brightest often let their marketing “drift” to focusing on features instead of benefits.
Don’t Be Seduced Into Focusing on Features
Wanting to focus on features is perfectly understandable because we’re all in love with our products and services and it’s easy to want to tell the world how cool they are.
So if you’re selling an app that’s taken 2 years and $500,000 to perfect, and you’re so proud you’re ready to pop, it’s hard NOT to crow about all the cool tech stuff (that nobody understands or cares about).
Or if you’re a coach who’s just been to the greatest training on earth, where you’ve paid $25K to participate and worked like a dog to understand and absorb the strategies, it’s hard NOT to harp about how great you are now.
Or if you’re a dentist who’s been to an amazing seminar where you learned the intricacies of using the latest and greatest new bonding material, it’s tempting, especially if you’re personally fascinated with the technology, to want to tell everyone about it.
Don’t give in to the temptation.
Because you won’t pass the 2 tests we talk about all the time.
Test #1: WIIFM, or What’s In It For Me?
Which means your prospects don’t care about how amazing YOU are, they ONLY want to know what you can do for them.
It’s why Dan Kennedy said…
“People do not buy things for what they ARE; they buy things for what they DO!”
You also have to pass the 2nd test…
Test #2: Who Cares?
This is another test we’ve talked about many times, but it always deserves a review.
Because it’s too easy to see your product or service only through your own eyes.
And if your target audience is clicking away because you’re yammering on about things YOU care about, but not about things THEY care about it, you’re dead in the water.
Of course, you can and should tell a fascinating description that includes features, like Claude Hopkins did when he took Schlitz beer to #1… but ONLY to prove the benefits are real.
3 Examples: Features vs Benefits
Example #1: OK, so let’s say you’re a business coach and you’re promoting an introductory program.
What you should NOT say is:
“6 weeks of the best coaching anywhere–which includes 6 sessions of group coaching and a members-only Facebook group to interact with like-minded members.”
The above only tells you what you’ll GET, not what it will DO for you.
You’ll have more impact if you say something like:
“6 intense weeks of interactive coaching that takes you by the hand and guides you, step-by-step, through each of the 3 phases of starting your business–so you’re equipped to confidently handle rapid growth on your own.”
Example #2: This time you’re a financial planner selling a package that does your taxes and goes through all financial instruments to make sure they’re optimized.
The features version would sound like this:
“Complete tax preparation and investment advice all in one place!”
That certainly gets the “yawn award.”
A more enticing description would sound like this:
“Worry-free tax preparation that keeps you off the IRS radar and guarantees you financial peace of mind as you pay the absolute minimum possible. Plus, in-depth investment analysis integrated with your tax preparation, to give you maximum growth with minimum risk–no matter what the markets are doing!”
Example #3: In this example you’re a service provider (dentist, accountant, chiropractor, energy healer, etc.) and you’re looking to attract new clients with, and let’s make it a chiropractor, some kind of free introductory exam.
A features-oriented promo would sound like this:
“Free 15-point postural evaluation only takes 10 minutes!”
Very bland features and easy to ignore.
On the other hand, the benefits make you want to sign up:
“Pain-free postural assessment quickly identifies exactly where your misalignments are. We’ll send you home with an individualized game plan for fast relief and a home treatment program to speed your healing.”
As you can see, the difference between features and benefits is DRAMATIC.
So go back through your funnel and fortify your persuasion by punching up those benefits.
In the meantime, Happy Selling!