Learning to Sell on Benefits
In ‘Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days’, the late founder of guerrilla marketing, Jay Conrad Levinson, and guerrilla marketing expert, Al Lautenslager, offer a dynamic marketing blueprint to help business owners attract more customers and maximize profits. We will take the time to both explore and understand the importance of identifying the benefits, and not the features, of our products. Finally, we will come to understand why marketing those benefits will help you increase your sales!
A feature is a factual statement about a product or service. Factual statements aren’t why customers buy, it’s the benefits that they buy into.
Often we might confuse the two and list factual statements as benefits, such as the following examples:
- Cassette panel system
- Multicell structure
- Concealed Fixings
- Internal LED lighting system
- National footprint
- Leading producer in the market
- 100 percent recyclable
Your prospects and customers care very little about these statements, and why is that? This is because, none of these examples tells a prospect how their life or business will improve, as a result of buying our product or by using your company’s service.
Our latest and greatest innovations will mean nothing to a prospective buyer unless the features listed translates into greater efficiency or something else of value. Being an award-winning supplier of building envelope systems, means nothing to a prospective buyer unless that feature can be translated directly into a benefit of reliability and a guarantee of being supplied a cutting edge solution.
Now let’s translate the factual feature statements above into benefits:
- Ability to remove and replace the building envelope skin without compromising building integrity.
- Providing a structural rigidity beyond that of the competition, with the unmatched load resistance.
- The integrity of the design remains uncompromised and true to aesthetic design.
- The building’s exterior façade now becomes an integral design feature and nighttime draw-card.
- Direct access to ongoing support for your project from start to completion, providing you complete ‘peace of mind’.
- Bringing you the latest production technology and processes, to ensure unmatched quality of system and variation between panels.
- Reliable and dependable innovation.
- Higher LEED/Greenstar ratings for your building.
In short, benefits sell. Benefits clearly answer the customer questions “What’s in it for me?” or “What results will I get that will improve my current situation?”
The most compelling benefits are those that provide an emotional or financial return. It’s not the steak, it’s the sizzle. It’s not the gift, it’s the thought. It’s not the price, it’s the overall value. Emotional returns are related to making the customer feel better in some way. Financial returns generally save money or make money for a customer.
How can we tell if we’re touting a benefit or a feature? It’s actually easier than you think. Can you give an affirmative answer to the question “Will this one thing improve the life, cost, health or well-being of someone?” If the answer is yes, then you have a benefit that can be marketed to this someone who’s part of your target market. If the answer is no, chances are, you’ve identified a feature. You must now find the benefit associated with that feature. If there’s no benefit, forget about it.
So based on the above examples we had listed of first, features than benefits, it is clear that benefits are those things (in the mind of your client) – linked directly to the project. The benefits are what keep your client interested and engaged in your proposition. Learn to quickly identify your customer’s needs, and then match this against your solutions’ features, to then extrapolate the relevant benefits.
If we can learn to keep this in mind, it will make our lives a whole lot easier, when it comes to proposing a solution for the next project. The solution proposed, should always be geared to solving the most pronounced problems (solar, thermal, time on site, etc.) our client might have. We can only do this if we can keep our client engaged via selling on benefits and then translating this to a well-written specification. By following this path, we can produce solutions that solve problems and inherently maintain a good strong specification.
Guerrilla marketing doesn’t focus on pricing. Sure, pricing is part of marketing, but your customers want much more than a price on the invoice. Ask your customers why they do business with you. Perhaps you offer benefits that you don’t know you’re offering. You might be surprised to find out what they really value most. But knowing why they do business with you will help you market to others like them and turn them into paying customers.
Let’s endeavor to move forward in our businesses by first doing what we can, to understand our customers and their needs. The foundation can then be laid out, to build a stronger emotionally laced business relationship, where we provide solutions sold on benefits and not price. I suggest that should you as part of our global DANPAL family, needs any help with this, then please pop us a message to firstname.lastname@example.org