Benefits, that’s what!
Whether you’re selling in print or in person, it’s a universal truth.
And success in both worlds requires a counterintuitive approach.
Allow me to explain.
As human beings, we are all pre programmed from birth to behave in certain ways. And one of the strongest things that drive us is an awesome pre occupation with our own self-interests.
You really don’t have to look very far to see that this is true. The world is cluttered with marketers whose messaging is about them.
They talk about all of the features of their product, and the advantages of doing business with their company. Its just human nature to express ourselves this way when we’ve poured our lifeblood into the development of a product, or a business, isn’t it?
But features, and advantages, are not what people buy.
People Buy Benefits!
Some quick definitions,
Features – The attributes of your product or service.
Advantages – What the attributes of your product or service do.
Benefits – How people feel when they have the advantages of your product or service.
Here are a few examples,
1) This SUV has a Vortec 5300 V8 engine (feature), and it can pull 7000 lbs (advantage). It gives you a testosterone rush every time you drive it (benefit).
2) Its got an autotrac 4x4 system (feature) that kicks in automatically at cruising speed when you hit an icy patch on the highway (advantage). You’ll drive with confidence and peace of mind, regardless of the weather conditions (benefit).
3) You’ll be safer & feel more secure too, (benefit), because you can actually steer while you brake on slick surfaces (advantage), thanks to it’s advanced Antilock-braking system (feature).
Your copy has power, when it contains all three elements, but it is quite natural & common to place too much emphasis on features & advantages. Even on copy that covers all three, the order is very often F->A->B. I’ve found that B->A->F (as in example 3 above) often yields better results. And it stands to reason, considering our natural preoccupation with ourselves, doesn’t it?
Benefits are personal & emotional. Benefits trigger opiates in our brains. Think about this for a moment.
Does a possession, in & of itself, give you any personal satisfaction? Isn’t it the feelings that you anticipate as a result of having it, that give you joy? Doesn’t all human striving and endeavor boil down to the pursuit of happiness?
Incidentally, be careful with negative emotions. They can be useful at the beginning of a piece, but you must be sure to counter them strongly with positive ones before the close. Negative emotions are debilitating, which is exactly what you DO NOT want. You need your prospect in a resourceful, confident, & comfortable state of mind when you ask her to take action.
So how can you put this knowledge into practice?
Make a list of all of the features of your offering, and map advantages & benefits to each one. Then take the most powerful benefits and work them into your headline & the opening of your copy. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with this approach because you end up with many more references to “you", and “your", at the beginning of the piece this way.
Of course the order in which you present your benefits is also crucially important. Your prime benefit needs to be presented first, and in such a way as to set your business apart from your competition.
You must have a unique, and clearly articulated sales proposition, that’s loaded with benefits that are most relevant to your target audience. The most successful approach is to target & dominate one small niche market at a time with this strategy.
Think of the benefits as the motive power that grabs your prospect’s attention and moves her to action, while the features & advantages justify those feelings with logic. All three are important.
Regardless of whether you want to improve your personal sales skills, write better letters and proposals, or produce more effective ads & web copy, BENEFITS are what will set you apart & ahead of the competition.
Daniel Levis is a top marketing consultant & direct response copywriter based in Toronto Canada. Recently, Daniel & world-renowned publicist & copywriter Joe Vitale teamed up to co author “Million Dollar Online Advertising Strategies – From The Greatest Letter Writer Of The 20th Century!", a tribute to the late, great Robert Collier.
Let the legendary Robert Collier show you how to write words that sell. . . Visit the below site & get 3 FREE Chapters! http://www.Advertising-Online-Strategies.com/ad-strategies.html