The Secret to Benefits That Sell
Features and benefits – two key elements of any sales course. After all, understanding them and the differences between them is part of the foundation of making a sale.
If you want to be persuasive, benefits have to be at the core of your presentation – the tastier the better. Let me explain:
If you’re like me, you learned earlier on that …
features are what a product has; benefits are what it does.
But sometimes, what you think are benefits aren’t. They’re often not personal enough. They’re not compelling.
Let’s consider another word: “advantages.” I’m going to suggest to you that what we’ve traditionally thought of as “benefits” are really “advantages.” Products and services have features and features have advantages. But benefits are different.
For example, let’s say I wanted to sell you a “double chocolate” cake. I might say that it has “double rich, naturally sweet” icing. That’s a feature. The advantage is that it’s not too rich or overly sweet like traditional chocolate and that makes it taste so much better. But, so what? It doesn’t really make me want to taste it.
But, if I were to tell you that it tastes so good, it will make your toes curl … Think about that. It will make your toes curl! Now, that’s a benefit – one that affects you emotionally. THAT sells. I want to experience THAT.
Benefits are how products or services affect your audience on a personal level. Benefits have to affect them emotionally. And that has impact. That sells.
Your audience must feel the need (be compelled) to change. In other words
to really change minds, you have to emotionally involve your audience.
Here’s a list of the basic emotions:
People don’t change unless you emotionally involve them. They don’t change unless they see the benefit … and have an emotional reaction to that benefit.
It’s also critically important to understand what a “benefit” actually is and how it needs to be worded. Too often, we cite “features” rather than “benefits”: “The new printer prints beautiful color pages and comes with a 500 page paper tray.” Those are clearly features. The benefit would be the way they affect us. Color might help us be more successful by generating more sales. The paper tray might save us time and frustration and let us go home early in a more relaxed frame of mind. Those are the benefits.
Here’s an article that expands on the power of “benefits” a little further.
Sure, logic has a place. But most people don’t make logical choices. Take cars, for example. We fall in love with them. That’s MOST of us. There are exceptions.
So … I could appeal to you through facts and figures regarding the need to support fighting cancer in children, or I could tell you an emotional story about Sally. And show her picture. Sally will be the trigger. Because we connect with her; we feel for her; we get emotionally connected.
There are many ways to change minds. ChangingMinds.org has around 5,000 pages of free information on how to change minds – a great resource for virtually any kind of persuasive challenge you might come across.
If you want to be remembered long after your presentation, raising emotions is the only way to go. We remember the things that affect us emotionally.
So … concentrate on benefits … that emotionally move your audience. That’s what changes minds.