Why Your Business Needs to Focus on the Benefits

October 12, 2016

How Your Business Can Build More Sales Through Benefits


Features versus Benefits – what does that mean for your business?

Often my clients, when I ask what their book, product or service will do for their customers, I hear features. What you’ll want to focus on is benefits.

Example: When I was selling micro computers (yes, that’s what we called them back in 1983) my very techy fellow sales people when speaking with a prospect would start by describing the processor, the bits and bytes, the operating system. I’d watch as the poor people’s eyes glazed over. Lucky for me, I had no idea what made a computer work, I just knew what it could do. I’d sit down at a computer and start showing people how they could insert and delete words in a document instead of what was more common then, whiteout and a typewriter. I’d show how easily it was to sort data i.e. clients by state or zip code. Then I’d move on over to show how a spreadsheet program would give them the ability to do what-if statements. About this time, they would be pulling out their wallets and my fellow sales people were scratching their heads.

They had been selling the features, and I had been demonstrating the benefits. Here’s a great example from the BIOMED 2.0 blog (photo courtesy Lee Sutton, Flickr):


In the golden era of advertising business was centered on listing the facts about their products or services. Today we are in a social selling environment where the needs of our clients take center focus.

Your Customers Are Interested In What You Can Do For Them

How your brand can relate to your potential buyers is far more important than what is actually featured. The key is to determine how your product or service can benefit them over what the competition has to offer.

Product demonstrations on social media are one way to catch your audience’s attention, like this video on Instagram from Logitech:


The latest and greatest offering means nothing to a customer until an idea is formulated in their minds. People want to know right away the end results and how this can positively impact their lives.

According to guerilla marketing experts, Jay Conrad Levinson and Al Lautenslager, on Entrepreneur.com, it’s important to have a “competitive advantage” in your market. They point out that this will garner the attention of your leads, creates a buzz, and sets your business above the rest. “Ask your customers why they do business with you,” Levinson and Lautenslager write. “Knowing why they do business with you will help you market to others like them and turn them into paying customers.”

What Makes Your Brand Unique?

This is often referred to as a “USP” or a Unique Selling Proposition, which simply means that your company is able to convince your prospects to switch over to your brand. In order to achieve this you must first do three things:

• Focus on a niche market and determine their needs and desires

• Determine your marketing strategy and how you want your product or service to appear to your audience

• Find out the unique value of your offering that stands out from the competition

A prime example of this can be found with the large coffee brand, Starbucks. The company, which began as a small coffee shop in Seattle, Washington, in 1971, promotes its beverages through both quality and customer service. They are now known for not just premium coffee, but other beverages and food items as well.

Going Beyond the Sale

The human experience is what drives the buyer’s experience today — you see this on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, ect. When your brand fully understands the lifestyle of your audience you can better reach them through stories. Video is especially effective in this in addition to user generated content where your customers can share their experiences with your product or service.

In order to build a loyal following your business needs to reach your community at their level in a way that they can easily relate to. As you appeal to their emotions you can forge lasting relationships and create a greater awareness for your brand.

Motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson, appeals to those who want to “tour on their own terms,” and create a sense of community through their membership option where owners can share their experiences and attend offline events.

In order to successfully attract more sales for your business you need to market the benefits your brand can offer to your target market. This goes well beyond the image and message and dives deep into the core of your community’s needs and desires. As you focus on who your potential buyers are and meet them at their level the interest in the factual features will follow.

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Author: Susan Gilbert