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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Boy, are your customers selfish !

You may have heard all this before, but understanding how to communicate benefits and how your customer will benefit from what you have to offer, is crucial to your marketing efforts.

When a prospect looks at your web site or any sales literature for that matter, they are tuned firmly into Radio “WII FM”.

That's Radio, "What's In It For Me?”

Your prospect wants to immediately see just what it is you can do for them. Your prospect has a problem that he or she, wants YOU to solve, and they want to know if you can solve it.

Here’s an example of some ‘features’ being advertised in the local press and on the web.

“Our pans are professional grade cast iron”
“I do Home Conveyance”
“24hr Domestic Plumber”
“uPVC Doors”

You can see adverts with lists of features everywhere in the Yellow Pages in any town in the UK.

For example;
Tree Work
·         Hedge Cutting
·         Pruning
·         Stump Removal
·         Felling

None of these adverts stick out and there are pages and pages of them saying exactly the same thing, and it’s a safe bet that the marketing materials of these companies are exactly the same.

It's all too easy for you to reel off a string of features about your products, but your prospect really doesn't care at this point, because they can't see the immediate benefit for them; they want to know what YOU are going to do for THEM.

If you don't tell them straight away, they'll move on and find someone else who will.

So how do you decide on what the benefits of your product features are? Use the ‘Drill Down’ method

Start off with a feature of your company and ask yourself "Why does that matter to me?" If you can keep drilling down and asking "Why does that matter to me?", you haven't yet reached the benefit of that feature.

Interrogate yourself:

1. Name a feature.

2. Then ask yourself, "What's important about that?" Then,

3. "Which means that I get____"

4. "Which means that I no longer have to______"

5. "This means that now I get to______."

Demonstrate to your prospect how your product or service delivers the benefit. Here's an example;

“Our pans are professional grade cast iron” (So why does professional grade cast iron matter to me?)

No matter how uneven the type of surface on which it is placed, on a stove top, an open grill or over a barbecue, it will cook food evenly. (So why does evenly cooked food matter to me?)

“It prevents burning or sticking without constant attention” (So why does that matter to me?)

“You will produce beautifully cooked mouthwatering food, easily, every time for your family/customers.”

There’s the benefit.

Here’s another example:

“We sell running vests made from cutting edge textile technology materials” (So why should that matter to me?)

“Because the clothes are made of hi tech, soft, breathable fibres” (So why do hi tech, soft, breathable fibres matter to me?)

“Because you can move more freely and comfortably in the clothes, and they wick perspiration away” (So why does that matter to me?)

“You can get more health benefits from your running regime if you have comfortable clothes that enable you to exercise comfortably.”

That's the benefit.

People do not buy on features, they buy benefits.

It’s important that you translate your features to benefits in order to convince your prospective buyer they will benefit from buying from you.

People reach a point when they decide to buy. It’s just a momentary decision, and your task is to get people to the point of making that decision. You must understand that people will not get to that stage until they understand just how they are going to benefit from what it is you are offering them.

You could have the best product or service in the world, but unless you make people understand the benefits to them, they will not reach this decision point.

So here’s an action point for you. Gather up all your marketing materials, leaflets, brochures, website, letters, e-mails, everything; and examine them.

Do they convey benefits or features? If they are feature rich, then use the ‘drill’ down method I described earlier to get at least 3 or 4 of the benefits of doing business with you.

Then TEST your benefits on a small scale within your materials. Don’t immediately change tack with all of your marketing. Test it. So for example if you normally send out 500 leaflets by direct mail, send out 400 of your normal leaflet and 100 of your new ‘benefits rich’ copy; and see what happens.

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