Many business owners focus on the features of their products when customers really care about the benefits of a product.
Benefits can be better evaluated by asking yourself how your product or service improves your customer’s lives.
Do you want to know how to sell more things to your customers?
Talk to them.
Yep, that’s it. Well, you should also listen to them too. That’s the critical part really.
You want to learn how your products and services have been used in the real world by your past and existing customers to solve their problems.
You then need to make a list of everything your customers tell you about a given product or service, because it’s going to help you understand what they really want out of your business.
The word I’m dancing around here is benefits. You want to learn what benefit your customers have gotten out of your products or services.
For example, let’s say that you sold some piece of technology your business built from the ground up. As the business owner behind that product, you can be very tempted to talk about tech specs and features, such as how fast it is, or much storage your device has.
Nobody cares about storage.
It’s a spec number that will disappear into the void in a very short amount of time.
The iPod was one of the most famous, widely recognized, universally known tech devices of the last 20 years. Do you remember how much storage the first iPod came with? Do you have the faintest clue?
Virtually nobody does. It didn’t matter.
People didn’t care about how much storage they had. They cared about what the storage did for them. They cared about the benefit of having that storage.
1,000 Songs In Your Pocket
When Steve Jobs first introduced the iPod, he had one statement that he really drove home. “1,000 songs in your pocket.”
Apple’s entire marketing campaign focused on that benefit as nearly the exclusive selling point.
You see, knowing that you could have your entire music catalogue with you wherever you went was a big thing at the time.
The frustration of having to delete music, re-add it later, maybe never find it again if it was an uncommon song, change things around depending on where you were going and who you were with was a real pain with the early MP3 players.
Even though storage was a big deal because of how important it was to enjoying using my MP3 players, if you asked me how much storage my first few MP3 players had, I would have no idea. You might be lucky and get an unsure and confused “120-something?” out of me on a good day.
But that first iPod? Oh yeah.
I could tell you right away that it held 1,000 songs.
But why the difference? Storage and the number of songs something holds essentially means the same thing.
Benefits Matter To People’s Lives, Features Don’t
In case you haven’t looked it up yet, the first iPod had 5Gb of storage.
Virtually nobody remembers it though because it was meaningless. Nobody other than tech blogs talked about 5GB of storage.
You bought an iPod because it was easy to use.
The benefit of enjoying your entire music catalogue anywhere you were, never having to worry about deleting things, losing things, adding on certain music for certain days, etc. was huge.
Turning The Focus To Your Business
Bringing this around to your business and what you provide, when you are weighing the products and services you have to offer your customers, you need to understand how they benefit from whatever it is you sell.
Your offerings may not provide any truly unique benefits versus your competitors and that’s okay.
What’s important is that you know what benefits you do offer, and how to articulate them in the copy that’s on your website.
That said, it can be hard to come up with those things. Here’s a tip…
Ask Yourself One Question
When you are thinking about how to position your brand or product in a new market, and are coming up with new sales materials for it, simply ask:
“How does this improve someone’s life?”
When considering the features of your products or services, it is often a reflection of the value you see in them.
On the other hand, benefits are a reflection of your customer’s self-interests.
Once you understand what drives your customer’s inner needs and selfishness, you will start to understand how to sell to them in a way that’s meaningful and important to them.
If you start to come up with some things to say, but you’re unsure…
Then Get Cynical
Imagine you have your ideal customer standing right in front of you, and go through your list of benefits. Then imagine that perfect customer looking directly into your eyes and saying…
What’s your response?
Do you have an immediate answer? Do you know what they should really care? Can you see yourself looking right back at them and saying “Well, that’s important because you can…”
If so, great! You’re on the right path. be sure to write down whatever that important reason they should care is though because that’s probably what your website copy needs to talk about as well.
However, if you can’t immediately answer the “So what?” question, it’s probably not important or useful to have on your website. In fact, it’ll probably do more harm than good to have it on your site at all.
Do You Want To Communicate Your Benefits More Clearly?
We are happy to get to know you, and your business, to find what makes you absolutely special in your market.