Spelling out the benefits that matter to your customers – Part One

When you know your business and its products and services really well you can easily fall into the trap of assuming that your customers will be just as impressed about them as you are.

Don’t assume they will see the value in what you are offering. Spell it out to them in ‘Benefits’ language. To do this you need to be clear about the difference between a feature and a benefit.

The Features describe the characteristics of a product. Features are usually things you can perceive through your five senses. This means you are able to see, hear, touch, smell or taste them. Features answer questions like “What is it?” or “What are the ingredients?” or “What are the component parts?” or “How does it work?”

A Benefit explains what a feature will do for the customer. Benefits are usually intangibles. For example, descriptive words such as ‘simpler’, ‘easier to use’, ‘gives you peace of mind’.

The benefits you describe should appeal to the wants (good feelings) and needs (solutions to problems) of the customer. They should answer the WIIFM question, “What’s in it for me?”, How will it save me time/money?”, “What will it do for me?”, “How will it make my life easier/better?”

Many salespeople assume that their customers will automatically translate features into benefits. It is dangerous to assume. It pays to follow a feature with the statement “What this means to you is…” or “Which means…”

There are often at least two benefits for every feature. Here is a simple example for a name badge:

name badge front

name badge back

Features Benefits
Plastic Washable and waterproof.
Reusable, so cost effective.
Has a clip and pin It’s versatile.
You can clip it on a shirt pocket or pin it to your clothing.
Section to slip in name card Reuse it for different people.
If there is a spelling mistake it can be altered and reinserted.


Download the Features and Benefits sheet - a one page form that will help you prepare sheets for your products and services.

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Jurek Leon is a storyteller, speaker and trainer. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly 'Terrific Tips' e-newsletter at http://www.terrifictrading.com/terrific-newsletter/. Alternatively, email info@terrifictrading.com.