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Sales 101: Features VS Benefits

In whatever business you have, do you sell the features of your product? Or do you sell the benefits? There is a huge difference and ultimately it can decide if you are going to pull the trigger on the sale...

Written Jul 07, 2008, read 46379 times since then.
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I think that everyone who is a part of Biznik is either involved in business, or runs their own business. Either way everyone is looking to build relationships so we can fulfill the bottom line and make sales. One major component of successful sales process boils down to your product or service’s Features and Benefits. When you are looking to sell your product or service… you need to talk about the features but you need to sell the benefits.

Customers typically are not interested in the features of your product or service, at least not directly. When you think about the cell phone industry, for example, telling people that you have a high resolution camera is one thing, but the reason why they would be interested in such a camera phone is because it is able to take good quality pictures. That’s the benefit.

In whatever business you have, do you sell the features of your product? Or do you sell the benefits? There is a huge difference and ultimately it decides if you are going to pull the trigger on the sale (close the deal, make the sale). Let me give you some examples:

Feature
These boots have rubber outsole with traction ribbing. Sealed seams renders them waterproof.

Benefit
Your feet won’t get wet if you were these boots.

Feature
This accounting software has an online reporting feature.

Benefit
Managers have instant, real-time, mission-critical information at a click of a button.

Feature
This car has 6 side-impact bags.

Benefit
You and your family will be protected from side impact accidents.

Although these examples are extremely simple it gives you an idea of taking the features of your product or service and building on the benefits. Here is what I would like you to do as a bit of homework (I know you probably haven’t had homework since university, but stick with me here).

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side write all the features of your product or service, and on the other side write out the corresponding benefit that goes with that feature. Keep in mind that the benefits column is where the power of making a sale comes in. For those of you who don’t sell products, but sell a service, this works just as well for you, so don’t think about skipping out on this. Once you have finished writing everything out, give this sheet to one or two people who can give you an objective, truthful opinion on your features and benefits.

Congratulations! You have just created your very first features and benefits sheet. Add this to your “sales and marketing toolbox." Now I want you to go and create a Features and Benefits sheet for all of your other products or services that you offer and use them during the sales process to close prospects on a sale (or even give them the sheet so they can see all the features and benefits that you offer)

Remember that features tell but benefits sell!

Next article we will be talking about the three pillars of business (it doesn't matter what business your in either) Visibility, Creditability, Profitability. 

 

Learn more about the author, Liam Brown.

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