3 Ways to Distinguish Business Features From Customer Benefits

All good sales people are familiar with the idea of selling features not benefits. One of the weakest points in many sales campaigns is characterised by a lack of clarity as to what the key sales message ought to be.

Business features are facts about your product or service. While they may indeed be interesting (to you, at least) business features are unlikely to entice customers to buy. Business features must be converted into tangible customer benefits if they are to hold any real value.

Frequently there are too many sales messages inadequately linked to the customer’s needs. The key sales messages often turn out to be features of the proposed solution, as distinct from benefits that answer the customer’s un-voiced question, “What’s in this for me?”

Here are 3 simple ways to distinguish business features from customer benefits:

1. Know your customer. Do your research and discover what motivates your audience. Understanding what it is that makes your clients and prospects tick will help you to sell them the right solution.

2. Don’t make assumptions. Too many business people assume that their service will sell itself. Your customers don’t work for your business; they don’t know the ins and outs of your offer. Try not to make big leaps in the sales process. Your audience may not always be making the same connections that you are. Approach your products and services as if you'd never seen them and present in those terms. Take your audience on a simple journey and explain every step.

3. Think of benefits as results. Be clear on what your customers will get out of doing business with you. In theory, your business features should directly help you to achieve a clear result, a benefit. While your business features are likely to be relatively static, benefits can often be shaped to suit a variety of needs. Knowing what results your audience is likely to want will help you spark their interest. Entice them with the results you know they crave.

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