Features vs Benefits

If you’re wondering why your customers aren’t buying the fantastic items you’re selling, maybe it’s not that your advertising spend wasn’t enough. It could be that you’re focussing on the WHAT the product is and not WHY the customer should buy it. Or that you’re telling them about the features of the product and not the benefits to the customer of those features. Read on to find out more about Features vs Benefits.

Features vs Benefits

A quick example:

We renovated our kitchen a while back and I was at the plumbing supply store. The sales assistant showed me a whole range of taps that had springs and bendy hoses and red or blue lights that shone when the tap was on. Some of these things made perfect sense to me: red light = hot water, blue = cold. That could stop you accidentally burning yourself. That’s a good safety feature.

Even some of the styles made sense: chunky and industrial taps meant an architect had been involved in the design, and those that were small and plain were probably designed for people who value function above appearance. Or perhaps they were for people who had smaller budgets.

Anyway, I was looking at all these taps and finally asked, ‘Why would I buy a tap with a hose? I never need to fill a bucket in the kitchen and when I mop the floor, I use a microfibre mop that doesn’t need much water.’

The sales assistant blinked a few times, probably wondering which rock I’d crawled out from under, because she thought it was patently obvious (as it may be to you) that this sort of tap made it easier to rinse down the sink after a messy wash.

As soon as she showed me why that feature might be of use to me, I knew I needed it.

So, what does that mean for you?

It means you need to think about not only the features of the item you’re selling, but the benefits these features have for the purchaser.

Features are facts. Benefits are what’s in it for the customer

Let’s do a simple exercise thinking about a poly-cotton satin finish, deep gusset, 200 thread, QS sheet set that comes in cream, white, blue and peach.

These details are the features of this sheet set. But what does this mean for the customer?

If you link these features of the product with benefits for the customer, the item sells itself.

You can also do the same thing with a service you’re offering.

Just remember next time you’re stuck:

Features are facts. Benefits are what’s in it for the customer.

I’ve written another article that takes the idea of benefits further. You can read it here.

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