What sells?  Benefits? Features? Or?
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Posted by  in Business Fundamentals

Author: Darlene Hull

Why do people buy what you sell? Do you know?

It’s a pretty important question to ask yourself. If you don’t know why people buy what you sell, you won’t know how to sell!

It’s a common fact that people are less interested in the features of a product than in the benefits – the whole “what’s in it for me?” question. In other words, your customers will be less impressed that these super berries are picked at dawn on the pure Himalyan hillsides than they are that because they’re picked at dawn they’ll give you endless energy to get through your busy day – see what I mean? While we may know that benefits sell more than features, it’s sometimes a little difficult to differentiate between the two.

Here’s a quick way to discern the difference:

  1. Take a blank piece of paper and divide it down the middle.
  2. On one side write down all the features: leather seats, purest sea calcium, longest lasting battery, etc.
  3. On the other side, opposite each feature, answer the question “so what” with as many answers as you can

Everything on the right should now be a benefit, and can be used to increase your selling effectiveness.

BUT! You can go a step further and really pack a punch. My friend Alice Wheaton talks about the importance of consequences in the sales conversation.

For example, as you introduce your benefits to your client, you can hit them home by having a clear understanding of the consequences if they DON’T have what you offer.

For example, your product has the purest sea calcium (feature) which is the only calcium your body can properly absorb and use to ward off brittle bones that come with aging (benefit). Taking any other supplement is both a waste of money and you’ll be taking pills that will have no effect on your bones, so you’ll end up with broken brittle bones anyway (consequence) – oh, and by the way, I just made all of that up! I have no idea about the benefits of sea calcium Just sayin’!

What are the features, benefits and consequences of your product? Post them below! Who knows, maybe you’ll make a sale!


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