Talk About Benefits, Not Features


Sales training often teaches that customers make buying decisions based on 1) their emotions and 2) the value the product or service brings to them. Customers choose a product or service based on its benefits, not its features. The features are simply the bare-bones facts–the elements or significant parts–of the product or service. The benefits are its value to the customer–how it will solve their problems, eliminate their pain and make life better.

Unfortunately, most businesspeople tend to talk in terms of features instead of benefits.  As professional experts and salespeople, that’s what they’re most familiar with.  They’re not accustomed to looking at their products or services from a customer’s perspective.

When you formulate the message you want your networking partners to convey about your business, put yourself in the customer’s place.  What are the benefits of your product or service?  Remember to simplify your message and make it specific–how will your product or service make the customer’s life or business easier, more comfortable, more satisfying or more profitable?

When you shorten and simplify your message so that you, and others in your network, can communicate the benefits of your business more clearly, customers won’t have to think very hard to understand why they should buy your product or service.  So try this out and see what kind of results you get . . . then come back and leave a comment to share the outcome with the rest of us.

7 thoughts on “Talk About Benefits, Not Features

  1. I’ve dealt with many salespeople trying to sell the features and not focusing on the benefits. They don’t realize that most people are only interested in what something can do for them.

  2. with out talking about features how can we probagate only benefitys.Features and benefits are part and parcel of any product information. generally u start with features and end in benefits.

  3. I concur with Ivan. Just yesterday, I sat with a client to develop her networking strategy and tactics for her business to be used at referral and other events. She is into holistic healing and she faced by a challenge “Holistic/Spirit Healing” is strange to most people. I then asked her to list the benefits. She was delighted to discover a people centric way to educate people about the benefits of her service. Some of my clients won big contracts after they have applied this principle in drafting proposals. Others have reviewed their brochures to focus on benefits rather than company history.


  4. Ivan – I concur 100% In one of my first sales jobs, as a window salesman, I remember be told – “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” Every competitors windows had nearly identical features, tilt-in sashes, double or triple pane glass with low-e and argon gas fill, and 2 locks, what makes our different is that they solve peoples problems of cleaning, loss of energy and reduction in utility bills and safety.

    When people convey the sizzle to their network or referral partners, it makes the referral partners jobs much easier to communicate what you do easier to potential customers and clients.

    Great blog post!

  5. A great message.
    “What’s in it for me?” is one of the oldest questions out there. This post confirms it once again: clients want us to tell them the benefits of a product. How do we learn which benefits they’re interested in? Will Ivan write a post reminding people to listen?

  6. >generally u start with features and end in benefits

    Reverse the order, and I think you’ll get better results.

    Start with a brief, compelling example of a benefit–it helps if you can get the potential customer to talk a little bit about what they’re looking for so you can tailor your benefit statement to their specific experience. Then, shift over to how a feature or two can provide that benefit for the person.

    I use “Mindfulness based CBT” to help my Life Coaching clients. But they’ll only come to see me if they feel that I understand what it’s like to “feel stuck” in life and that I can “get them unstuck.”

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