From the newsletter: Benefits vs. Features is not good enough
by Joel K

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You’ve heard it before: “Benefits over features!”

But what if that’s not the whole story?
What if you’re missing a piece that can help you sell and persuade?

By the end of this email, you’ll know what that piece is and how to use it. Promise.
First, a quick story to set the stage:

This week, two separate books hit me in the face.

The first one was “Bert and the Broken Teapot” – a 1985 Sesame Street classic. There I was, minding my own business, eyes blissfully closed as I laid in bed. That’s when I heard it: the terrifying sound of…

“Dad! Book.”

I opened my eyes to greet my sweet, beautiful boy and behold his glorious shining fa—WHUMP. OW! The pointy corner of Bert’s misadventure had been violently jabbed directly into my cornea. Many “gosh heck darn-its” were uttered. Thanks, son.

(Spoiler for the curious: Bert shatters his friend’s teapot: it can’t be fixed, they learn friendship is more valuable than teapots, the end. Whatever.)

The second book is the one you’ll care about: I’m reading April Dunford’s “Obviously Awesome“—the holy grail if you want to get better at positioning.

On page 106 she lays something out so obviously (see what I did there?) that WHUMP -I couldn’t believe I’d never seen it laid out this way before. We all know people buy benefits over features, right?

I’ve even got a handy cheat code I can share for converting a feature to a benefit:
“[Solution] provides [Feature] so that you can get/do/achieve [Benefit].”

Using that formula, you go from:

  • “24-hour support” to “Get help whenever you need it”
  • “5 layers of premium foam” to “Sleep comfortably through the night”
  • “Anti-lock breaks” to “Stop safely on the ice”

Great: we don’t want to leave leads to sort out the benefits on their own. But it’s not enough. If you REALLY want to sell, you need one more step: value.

April puts it this way: value is “How this feature maps to a goal the customer is trying to achieve”

I’ll put it this way: why does your best-fit customer care about that benefit at all? What does having that benefit mean or make possible for them?

  • If they don’t care, it’s not a benefit.
  • If they care, they’ve got specific reasons why.
  • Those reasons are the REAL reasons they buy

Hitting those values gives you that specific, juicy copy that parts leads with their money.

Let’s try it out together…

Imagine you’re selling a cloud security solution to enterprise customers.

  • Their internal teams are swamped with never-ending to-dos.
  • When something bad happens, stopping it is always urgent.
  • Even seasoned teams don’t always know how to respond to new threats.
  • The stakes are always high: a breach is a crisis.

“24-hour support” is the feature: not good enough.
“Get help whenever you need it” is the benefit: not good enough.
“Rapidly and decisively stop a breach with hands-on help as soon as it happens…”

Now we’re getting somewhere! Let’s make it a little juicier:

“When it’s all-hands-on deck, we give you more hands. Contact us any day, any time, and our incident response team will jump in to help you identify and respond to breaches, guiding you every step of the way…”

Can you see how stopping at the benefit is not nearly enough? How will you put his to use for yourself, or your clients?

Klettke out.

(P.s. Like my teaching style? I put out two trainings on attracting ideal clients and closing deals when a lead asks to “hop on a call” – you might want to check ’em out.)

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