Features…. So What?
October 3, 2013 § Leave a comment
In a recent post about sampling (Save Your Money) I spoke about the value of solving the retailers problems, vs leveraging so much on sampling. Retailers problems are not solved by listing numerous features, what I call feature dumping. Retailers problems are solved by answering these questions:
Who (customer) would benefit from this product and why? Goes to is there a market for this wine.
What is it about this product the staff will love? In other words what key, simple, sticky benefits of this product will make the staff confident in selling it and feel good about themselves for selling it?
Why should the customer care about this product?
How does this product make my life easier?
How does this product please my boss/accountant/controller?
These questions can only be answered with benefits, but what is the difference between a feature and a benefit.
The definition is remarkably simple. If you can say so what? after the statement, the statement is a feature and not a benefit.
For example: This wine received a 99pt rating from Robert Parker… so what? The benefit is what does this statement mean to me the buyer. A benefit is not what is important to the marketing guy, the sales manager or rep, it is what is important to the person you are presenting to. The challenge for the sales rep, and why I don’t have much time for marketing departments, is to find out what is important to the buyer. There is not a product in the world that is important to every buyer to the same extent on the same day. A great sales rep and sales company is focussed on finding out what is important to me or solves my biggest problem.
The benefit is directly linked to the feature and usually follows a linking phrase such as “which means to you…”. So using the above example here is the example of linking a feature to a benefit.
This wine received a 99pt rating from Robert Parker which means to you the highest possible movement on a high margin product which will always please your boss and accountant.
To find the real benefit, like I said above, you need to start with finding out with what is important to the buyer and test to see if you have the deepest benefit, the benefit that will truly resonate with your buyer, apply the 5 Why test. Ask why the benefit is important 5 times, the result will be the deepest benefit that will solve the biggest problems and be most important to your buyer.
If you have any questions please let me know.