Features vs Benefits: Know the Difference to Sell More

Should you be selling the features or benefits of your product or service? Well, as the old saying goes, “Features tell, benefits sell”. While the features of your product or service are important, benefits are typically what will compel your prospects to make a purchase. So today let’s dive into the why, when and how of selling features and benefits to boost your conversion rate.

What is a feature?

A feature is typically the tangible or technical aspects of your product or service. They are the “what” a consumer is purchasing. Features are what your product does.

For example, if you own a gym, features might be the number of classes offered per week, types of classes, amenities and equipment.

What is a benefit?

A benefit describes the outcome a customer will experience after buying and using your product or service. It’s the “why” behind a purchase. Benefits are what a product does for your customer. 

For our gym owner example, benefits could be becoming healthier, stronger or more mobile.

When to sell features?

While selling benefits typically leads to greater conversion, there are times when customers can be swayed by features as well. 

The following are examples of when selling features are important: 

  • You’re in a competitive market
  • You’re in a highly saturated market
  • You offer a technical product

In these situations many customers are trying to weigh your competitive advantage because the choices are comparable and nuanced in nature.

When to sell benefits?

Selling the benefits of your products or services should be your approach 99% of the time. This is because consumers buy based on emotions and the benefits of your product or services are the emotional connection that drives purchasing behaviors. 

How to sell features?

Selling features is easy. You simply describe to your audience all the attributes of your product or service in your messaging and ads. 

Example:

OrangeTheory Fitness, a heart-rate based cardio & strength fitness studio, might focus their messaging on the number of classes they offer per week or the type of equipment used in order to sell features. A feature based message might sound like “Join today! Over 50 classes per with state-of-the art equipment.”

Well this approach might work to attract more seasoned fitness lovers that prioritize access and type of equipment when deciding to join a gym, this messaging isn’t super compelling to those focused on results (which is the majority of fitness consumers).

How to sell benefits?

Selling benefits takes a bit more work.  You need to truly understand the goals, challenges, wants and desires of your audience in order to sell them the outcome they are looking for.  

Example: 

Instead of selling features, OrangeTheory Fitness uses this benefit based brand one-liner, ‘The Smarter Workout for More Results’ in their messaging. 

This approach gets to the root of the problem for their customer and their unique solution – the customer wants results with less effort which they produce using technology. 

Marketing Hack 

Most of us entrepreneurs have a tendency to get hung up on all the features of our products and services. It’s hard to step back and figure out why a customer should truly care about our business (aka the benefits). Check out this short video “Benefits vs Features | The Crucial Key to Selling More of Your Product and Services” from Adam Erhart to learn more about his marketing hack “So you can ____” to improve your messaging and sell more.

Need help figuring this all out?

Our Fall 2023 Start Up: Business Bootcamp will be Monday and Thursday evenings from 5:30-7:00 PM October 16th through November 9th and in the marketing section of the program we’ll focus more on how to sell to your customer’s ‘why’!

Of course if you’re looking for individual support, you can always schedule a business coaching session with one of our coaches.

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