Benefits-The Driving Force Behind Every Sale

20 replies
Imagine reading a sales letter that gives you no benefits.

Would you buy the product or service it tries to promote?

To sell persuasively a marketer should understand the reasons why people buy. Benefits are the main reason.

Without benefits the buying would be useless.

Benefits help fuel desire for the product.

Benefits are not the only reason people buy. Find another deeper reason in my other thread: How emotion-packed copy increases conversions

To effectively use benefits in a sales copy the following are essential:-

a)
Find out the features of the product or service.

b)
Turn these features into benefits.

c)
Present them in bullet form.

d)
Make them short.

e)
Present them in the order they are related.

f)
Edit them using power words.

Why do you think benefits should be presented in bullet form?

What technique do you use for turning features into benefits?
#benefits #benefitsthe #driving #force #fuel desire #sale #sale letter #the drivingforce
  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    I spend very, very little time focused on features or benefits when I sell. I focus more on the client's desires and values. I find it more of a motivator. Not only that but it creates a connection where I become their go to guy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      I spend very, very little time focused on features or benefits when I sell. I focus more on the client's desires and values. I find it more of a motivator. Not only that but it creates a connection where I become their go to guy.
      Yes! Buyers buy because what you're offering solves a serious problem for them. Now it may be trivial to you, but you're not the one buying.

      When they buy, if all you're doing is talking about features and benefits, it's because you accidentally matched a benefit up with the problem (or symptom of a problem) they're experiencing.

      I wrote a post about this yesterday. The easiest thing is to reproduce it here:

      Pain Points: Back to the Basics

      Pain Points are a straightforward yet vital tool to sale success. When a sale has been achieved but the salesperson is unsure why, you can be certain at least one pain point was accidentally hit upon and was responsible.

      We've been looking at Buyer Personas the last few days, and that is a pretty advanced selling topic. You have to have a number of elements of your sales plan worked out before you get to that point. So today we'll go back to the basics. Pain points are typical problems, or symptoms of problems, that your solution resolves for customers. When you get these right, they accelerate credibility, trust and speed in the sales process. Unfortunately, most people in sales roles only know about features and benefits. These are not pain points. And this is why the large majority of selling efforts are ineffective.

      The Difference Between Features, Benefits and Pain Points

      A feature is a noticeable factor about your product or service. For instance, it's red. Or delivery is guaranteed within one hour.

      A benefit is an improvement or advantage the customer gets because of one or more features. Examples: their new red Ferrari gets a lot of attention, or the kids are fed a hot and tasty pizza without a long wait--and the parents don't have to do any cooking.

      None of these things are pain points, however.

      A transformation must happen. A certain ordering of the words and specific terminology are required. Consider: when the language of the prospect is used--jargon from their individual niche--what does that communicate? That the salesperson truly understands the prospect's world. This is precisely what gives us instant credibility. When the salesperson sounds like the prospect, rapport and trust can develop much more quickly.

      Example Pain Points

      So what would be a pain point for our sports car buyer?

      They realize they're getting older, and worry they're less attractive to the opposite sex than they were in earlier years.

      Of course, you would want to soften this language so it has less harsh impact upon the prospect. And you could even ask it as a series of negative reverse selling questions (in person): "I see you're admiring our 458. ...You probably haven't thought about how many heads this will turn when you cruise by?" ... "You seem to be a mature guy who appreciates this kind of quality. I don't suppose you've had the chance to follow luxury sports cars long?" This can easily lead us into a discussion uncovering the age of our prospect, and their self-image.

      And for the pizza-buying moms and dads?

      They want quiet, happy kids with full bellies, NOW.

      For an example with industry-specific terminology, here's one from my days of running a metal fab shop in the mid-2000s:

      I work with building contractors who are upset fab subs have constantly missed their delivery dates, pushing back the completion schedule of all the other trades and inspections.

      Incidentally, I got two points down for that niche. After I achieved that, every single builder I called with those two bits of information gave me an order. Every one. It may have been a $100 order for custom plasma cut bathroom keychains, as one architect's office requested; but it also may have been an $8000 staircase railing for a high-end new home. Our problems became operational rather than sales-related. A whole new ballgame.

      Can you see now why it's so important to niche down, and stick with it? In a relatively short time, typically a couple of weeks, you can develop the right language to create immediate credibility in the mind of your prospect. And then they're much more open to having a dialogue with you. The secret, which you know if you've been following me for awhile, is that great conversations lead to sales. And you also probably know that most prospecting calls are begun so badly there is no rest of the call. You want as many great conversations with qualified prospects as possible. But these dialogues are not easy to get. Bad salespeople have made prospects put up a wall of skepticism. The language we use at the start of the call can help us overcome this barrier.

      **

      Pain points work just as effectively for sales copy as they do in prospecting calls.
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      • Now I get to throw a wrench into the gears.

        If your target requires the benefits you feed then the benefits.

        If your target requires the features you feed them the features.

        So who is your target? I use a simple identifier that helps me figure this out quickly and it goes like this:

        Buyers need flyers
        Techs need specs

        Those who do not come from a technical background gravitate towards and are easier to convince with benefits type copy.

        Technicians are a different breed of buyer and they only want the facts. They resist sales copy with benefits and believe most of the copy is hype. If I've heard that once I've heard a 1000 times from the techies.

        But put a spec sheet in front of them with price and product comparisons along with your contact information and you have stirred some interest.
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        • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
          Originally Posted by ThePromotionalGuy View Post

          Now I get to throw a wrench into the gears.

          If your target requires the benefits you feed then the benefits.

          If your target requires the features you feed them the features.

          So who is your target? I use a simple identifier that helps me figure this out quickly and it goes like this:

          Buyers need flyers
          Techs need specs

          Those who do not come from a technical background gravitate towards and are easier to convince with benefits type copy.

          Technicians are a different breed of buyer and they only want the facts. They resist sales copy with benefits and believe most of the copy is hype. If I've heard that once I've heard a 1000 times from the techies.

          But put a spec sheet in front of them with price and product comparisons along with your contact information and you have stirred some interest.


          12 years ago, I was hired by a local music store to write a direct mailer for the 5150 Amp. That's the one designed by Eddie Van Halen BTW. The flyer was sent out to their most die hard customers. BIG time guitar nerds who knew all the technical details of every friggin' amp on the market at the time.

          I thought I was going to rock it. Esp since I owned one myself and had played guitar for 11 years.

          I crammed the letter with benefits and examples of how bad ass the amp would make them sound at jam sessions. How it would "make their crotchety neighbors ears bleed while they sat in their living room watching reruns of 'All in the Family.'"

          The response rate was barely 1%.

          That weekend, I bought a round of drinks for my old jammin' buddies and brought the flyer to the bar to ask them what they thought of it.

          The comments were ALL some variation of "too much," "need to be more to the point," "overdoing it," "trying to be too creative."

          I thought they were just a bunch of dumb musicians. Then, one of them said something that changed the way I look at the old "features vs benefits" argument:

          "Dude, I already know what those speakers will do."

          I was insulting their nerdiness by spelling it out for them. I rewrote the flyer with a bullet list of features, compared it to the two most popular alternative amps at the time, and we remailed.

          Response rate was close to 5%.

          By the time we profiled the hottest buyers, added a follow up automated phone message and emails, the response rate was near 20%.

          About a year later, I read this...

          Breakthrough Advertising: Eugene M. Schwartz,...Breakthrough Advertising: Eugene M. Schwartz,...
          ...and it all made sense. The way you write the ad depends on the customer's level of awareness and education. More posts on it below:

          What Is the Million Dollar Marketing Secret? | VQ Success

          The 5 Stages of Writing Irresistible Landing Page Copy - Copyblogger


          First four questions to ask:
          1. Who is the target market?
          2. What do they REALLY want more of and what language do they use to describe it?
          3. What do they believe is stopping them from having it and what language do they use to describe it?
          4. What do they already know or assume about your TYPE of product or service?
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          • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
            There's one fatal flaw to the benefit brigade argument,
            and that is they leave out what other advertisers have said.

            Going blindly in with a shopping list of benefits when your market
            has already heard the same or similar before has the message dead on arrival.

            Best,
            Ewen
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            • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
              Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

              Going blindly in with a shopping list of benefits when your market
              has already heard the same or similar before has the message dead on arrival.

              Best,
              Ewen
              Exactly. You've gotta know what they already know, or assume, and meet them there.
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      • Profile picture of the author splitTest
        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post


        They want quiet, happy kids with full bellies, NOW.
        Well, isn't that pretty much a benefit?

        Perhaps the dif betw benefits and pain points is the former describes how buying the product will change the prospect's life for the better, while the latter helps the prospect identify with you... demonstrates that you understand their problem well enough to help them solve it...

        - pain point in one classic ad: guy gets sand kicked in his face and loses the girl
        - benefit he stands to gain by purchasing the product: kicks the bully's ass and gets the girls

        I guess the point is... to be most effective, spell them both out vividly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
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  • Profile picture of the author Treborrevo
    Benefits are great/important...

    ....And benefits are only benefits because people want/value them. I still stand amazed that in 2014 I see corporate copy devoid of them every week.

    So, why do people want or value them?

    Answer that and you've discovered something as critical as benefits in not just your copy, but your strategy.
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    Robert Stover
    RobertStover.com

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  • Always worth hunting out the "benefit within the benefit"

    If we look at the weight loss niche (I'm surprised there aren't more sites on this...hardly any competition...)

    Anyway.

    The benefit is usually something like lose X pounds in 27 days (or whatever).

    So what will that do? (apart from the obvious - you'll look slimmer).

    But it also makes you healthier, sexier and more energetic.

    So what will that do?

    You'll live longer, have great sex, get more stuff done.

    Then you supercharge it all with more benefits.

    Eat what you like (at certain times) No gruelling exercises (just a refreshing walk once a day).

    No charts or counting calories (just eat delicious nutritious food whenever you want)


    Always try to finish with the huge emotional benefit that the good people will have. This is what you really want to hammer home. Make them experience it as if it is happening right now.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Jomuli3
      Let me raise an analogy here to demonstrate why it is important to raise benefits in bullet form in a sales letter.

      Once a good boxer realizes that his opponent is dazed with blows, he unleashes a barrage of blows --- to knock him out.

      If blows are not released in quick succession at that opportune time, his opponent might recover.

      Likewise when we cram our prospects with benefit after benefit --- we break their resistance to buy by raising their desire from one level to another until they are totally overwhelmed.
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      • Profile picture of the author max5ty
        Originally Posted by Jomuli3 View Post

        Let me raise an analogy here to demonstrate why it is important to raise benefits in bullet form in a sales letter.

        Once a good boxer realizes that his opponent is dazed with blows, he unleashes a barrage of blows --- to knock him out.

        If blows are not release in quick succession at that opportune time, his opponent might recover.

        Likewise when we cram our prospects with benefit after benefit --- we break their resistance to buy by raising their desire from one level to another until they are totally overwhelmed.
        Dude, hell are you selling?

        Must be something weird or funky that you need to use some crazy stuff.

        I've seen this type of stuff before...usually some type of info product that sucks big...

        How bout this?

        Find a good product with good value and sell it on it's own merits?
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    @Ken

    Guess I was dazed.

    Then the opponent unleashed some quick blows in succession like a barrage or garage or something...at an opportune time and something about a knock on the door or something...

    then something about recovery and cramming something or other up something...

    then a desire until we're both overwhelmed...

    guess it has to be in quick succession.
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

      You're lucky. We got guys here who can hypnotize you and bend you to their will with a few well-chosen words.
      Crap...I hate being bended.

      Do you know what those words are?
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    Seth, you're so frickin' right. Features absolutely have their place.

    I recently did some work for a new e-magazine.

    And their features are a huge part of what creates the benefits.

    This is an audience that thinks it knows it all. So going overboard with the benefits can have a backwards effect.

    I actually did a features-based headline for them to test out against a couple different benefit--driven ones. (Above the VSL.)

    Still waiting for the video production to get completed. But it should be interesting.

    It's all about appealing to people's egos. Sometimes a list of features is a more of a trigger than their benefits. You've gotta know your prospect. Don't turn them off - just because the general real of thumb is benefits, benefits, benefits.

    Mark
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  • Like it or not everyone who has ever read a sale page wonders
    Is this for me?
    Can this work for me?
    Which is pretty much the same thing as saying
    What's in it for me?
    How will this benefit me?
    It doesn't matter if you cater to a persons desire,benefit,emotion, what ever you want to
    call it.
    In order for them to buy you have to fulfill a NEED.
    They have to see a need to want to buy your product.
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