What kind of language do you use to talk about your business? Do you know what is the difference between features and benefits in your communication?
What are features?
Many business owners try to promote their business by talking about features. Features describe the function of what a product or service does. For example, if you were selling a car, a feature approach is that it has 222 horsepower, all wheel drive, power steering and side impact beams. The thing about features is that they don’t connect the dots between what you do and what it does for your customer. And most potential customers don’t make the connection on their own.
What are benefits?
Benefits, on the other hand, speak about what is in it for the customer. Going back to the car analogy, it would be talking about feeling because your children are protected by the safety features or being confident driving in bad weather because of the differential steering.
Test your own marketing materials
I find myself falling into the pattern of talking about features or the “here is what I do” so I make a point of taking a step back and analyze the way I describe my business. Here is a quick exercise that will show you in a visual way whether you used feature based communication or benefits based communication.
Take a look at your website, brochures, business card and other marketing material either as you create them or when they are done. In fact, I encourage you to take one copy of each communication piece and 2 colored pens. Circle with one color all the times that you use features to talk about your business and then use the other color for when you use benefits language in your marketing communications.
Studies have shown that people tend to make decisions based on emotion (the connection with what’s in it for them – or benefits) and then justify their decisions with facts (the features).
I’d love to hear what you discover as you work on and review how you talk about your business in networking and marketing communications.
I am really pleased to announce our next set of workshops based on the DISC behavioural profile in August and September.
Communicate with Style: DiSC Basics
This 3 hour workshop introduces the DiSC profile of four behavioural styles to help you understand your personal style and awareness of other styles.
Dates: August 22nd or September 20th, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
Benefits of this workshop:
Understand the 4 basic behavioural styles (DiSC)
Have a clear understanding of your personal style
Learn about what issues are important to you in communication
Have a strategy to interact more effectively
Build Powerful Networking Relationships with Advanced DiSC
Date: September 29th, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
You will learn how to use the DiSC profile to identify the behavioral style of people you meet and dramatically increase your communication effectiveness. Included is a personalized assessment and report of your personal style (value $50).
This is ideal for networkers, sales people and teams, business owners and entrepreneurs who depend on the ability to connect with people they meet to open relationship doors and close sales. It will change the way you approach clients and tailor your style to give them the best environment possible.
Topics covered in this course include:
Understanding the DISC profile and your personal profile
Assessing typical questions in a prospect’s mind
Choosing approaches to connecting based on profile
Understanding what motivates prospects (and what demotivates them)
Creating ways to stay engaged (customer retention)
I recently joined the Burnaby Board of Trade and had a booth at their Business to Business tradeshow. I am so tickled that they chose to interview me for their follow up article in the Burnaby NOW as well as feature me on their business blog. The writer, Heather, approached me and said that it was a new feature on the blog and she only had a sample of the first post which was about Price-Waterhouse Coopers. Did I mind following them? Um, no problem!
I was looking for a business association that had a strong reputation as being pro-membership, positive and held regular events to connect members. What I like about the Burnaby Board of Trade is that they are a proactive association that provides outstanding service to their membership as well as cross promotes business opportunities between members.
What business associations do you belong to and what has worked well?