This is probably one of my favorite topics to teach people. I have been in sales for most of my adult life and showing people how to sell for the past three years. The teams that I lead all know one thing, you have to sell the benefits.
Most people I work with get features and benefits confused so before we go into how you use benefits with your clients, I will explain the differences.
A feature is what your product is and what it specifically does. This can also include all of the technical details as well, in other words, nerd stuff.
If you read nerd stuff negatively, I apologize. Nerd stuff is a word of endearment. It is something that was used towards me when I would go and fix someone’s Excel spreadsheet or start discussing all types of things related to websites.
A benefit is what the product or service does for a person. They answer the question, what’s in it for me? Answering this question with your leads can turn them into paying clients.
Apple is probably the easiest to relate to and most popular when websites talk about benefits over features. Apple was not the first to create an MP3 player, but they were the first to market it the right way. While every other MP3 player provider talked about how many GBs they could fit in a single device, Apple sold their product as 1,000 songs in the palm of your hand.
Back then, most people did not know what a GB let alone know what that meant in relations to how many songs it could hold. Why would they care if a device had a 2GB storage? Apple explained the benefits to them!
First Things First
Before you can even begin to explain the benefits to anyone, your first goal is to understand and empathize. The way you do this is by asking questions, questions with a purpose. Ask open-ended questions to get them talking about them. Everyone likes talking about themselves, right?
Here are my favorite questions to ask potential clients:
- Why did you start this business?
- What makes you different from your competitors?
- Why do you do what you do?
- What makes you happiest with your business?
- What do you want to accomplish over the next year?
- What does success look like?
Now if you ask a couple of questions and then immediately try to sell to your lead, it likely will not go over very well. They will believe you did not listen to what they said and only asked those questions to give your pitch. See this is where most people get it wrong.
Your goal is to listen, not to respond and sell. Follow up with what the client says and dig in deeper. Continue to have a conversation until you know exactly what they need and how to help them.
Explain The Benefits
Which sounds better?
I will build you a responsive WordPress site that will have opt-in email plugins, caching support, SSL installed, and host it on a Linux Server.
I will build you a website that will look great on any device that your customers might find you on and load incredibly quick. It will have the ability to capture leads so you can start marketing and turn those leads into customers. Also, Google and other web browsers have a huge push to make the internet encrypted. Your website will have https support to encrypt your website which will also boost your rankings on search engines!
The second one tells a client what’s in it for them. Now I know as a fellow web designer, it is easy to nerd out and want to tell all about the technical details of what the website can do. The clients you work with likely are not at the same technical level as you are. The more you can use their own words in your benefit statement, the better.
If they tell you they want to attract more leads, work that into your statement on how you can do that. If they just want to look professional online by having a website, there is no point in telling them about all the bells and whistles that are going to come with it.
Keep it simple and keep it about the client.
Do your homework
Practice coming up with your own benefit statements. Create a list of example client scenarios and write down a few different benefit statements. Practice coming up with as many as you can until it becomes second nature.