Features and Benefits

by Ralph Hilsdon, Web-Clubs

Posted on 31 May 2017

Technical experts love features;

“How big, How fast, How many !! etc.”

Marketing data written by them is typically full of specifications. This approach may be fine if your target market is purely technical but what about the rest of us.

The difference between selling Features and Benefits

Here is an example I learnt from a former marketer from the photocopier industry that joined my team. He explained that the copier industry was dominated by a few manufacturers selling under their own brand and through resellers with varying colours, logos and names. Underneath the panels, the products were identical.

The products he was responsible for had exactly the same specifications as his main competitors. Selling features was not an option, he became an expert at selling benefits, not in this case of the machine, but of his company emphasising their benefits in service, training and financing.

People admire features but buy benefits

Features get you noticed and attract attention, it’s benefits though that are likely to clinch the sale.

Whatever marketing you use, for every feature you quote, you should apply the “so what” question. The answer should be included as well, if there is no answer, it indicates a feature of no value!

Take this example; many small to medium businesses state they are small or local; this is a feature. The resulting benefit which shoul follow is that they can offer a personalised service, be more flexible and understand local requirements.

Avoid Feature Dumps

It’s easy to get carried away listing features, most of us will have sat through a presentation at some time dominated by specifications and with no linkage to our real world.

Specifications are fine, but may be better placed in a separate PDF or datasheet. Your main message should be to emphasise the benefits your product or service will deliver.

features and benefits