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The Secret to Selling More? Hint: It’s Not Selling Features

You have a great product, produced using state-of-the-art technology. But if you don’t talk about how the product will help your audience (its benefits), and only talk to them about its technical specifications (its features), you are losing lots of potential customers.

Through his Swanwick Sleep company, James Swanwick sells blue-light-blocking glasses. They have a number of interesting technical features, but features aren’t enough to get people to make a purchase.

That’s why the company’s website (swanwicksleep.com) says the product will make you “sleep better”, “feel energized”, and “look cool” in large font. The benefits, not the features, are front and center.

And they’re so prominent because an interested customer is always asking, “what does this product do for me?” If you don’t talk about the product’s benefits, you’re not answering their question!

James makes a clear distinction between features and benefits. A feature is a factual statement about a product or service. Examples include a self-cleaning oven, or a product being made 100% from recycled materials.

A benefit is an improvement in one’s circumstances caused by the product or service. Examples include convenience, time-saving, and becoming more attractive to potential partners.

You can see the focus on benefits in everyday marketing. Let’s take weight-loss products for instance. If you watch infomercials about them, you very frequently see portrayals of men using the product having attractive, smiling women walk up to them.

It’s the same for a whole host of products. Marketing for anything that improves your physical appearance very often depicts attractive people entering the frame and looking at the user with adoration.

The inference the marketing establishes is that these products will make you attractive. The focus here is on that benefit, not on the technical specifications of the exercise machine or weight-loss program being sold.

James urges entrepreneurs to audit their sales copy, identifying where features are emphasized over benefits, and making changes to focus instead on the benefits. You should ask yourself why your customers do business with you, and ask them, too! You may discover all sorts of benefits your customers derive from your products that you had not known before.

Key takeaways:

  • People buy things to solve problems for them
  • Focusing marketing on your product’s features, not their benefits, will lose business
  • Audit your ad copy to maximize focus on these benefits

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