Sell Benefits Not FeaturesI was meandering through a store recently when I came upon a display for a new electric toothbrush. The biggest, boldest words on the signage and the packaging were “New Quadpacer Mode!”

I thought to myself, “Finally! I’ve been waiting my whole life for someone to make a toothbrush with Quadpacer Mode! I love Quadpacer Mode!” And I bought a dozen of them.

No, that’s not true.

What actually happened was that I shook my head, laughed silently to myself and continued on through the store.

Because I don’t know what Quadpacer Mode is. And more importantly, I don’t care what Quadpacer Mode is.

Clearly the people at the manufacturer care about it. Some engineer thought up the idea and somebody in marketing ran with it.

But while Quadpacer Mode might be the biggest thing to happen to oral hygiene since the Tooth Fairy, its significance is lost on me. Because the message focused on what I don’t care about, rather than what I do care about.

What do I care about?
• Cleaner teeth
• Whiter teeth
• Less time brushing
• Healthier gums
• Fewer cavities
• Painless dental checkups

What do all these things have in common? They’re benefits, not features. Quadpacer Mode is a feature. See the difference?

If the biggest, boldest words were “50% whiter teeth” or “Cut your brushing time in half” I would have read further. Because I’m interested in those things. But “Quadpacer Mode” doesn’t mean anything to me so it doesn’t interest me. And if it doesn’t interest me, I’m not going to waste my time learning more about it.

Companies get all excited about their features. Businesses of all types and sizes fill their brochures, web sites and advertisements with them. But here’s the reality: Nobody cares about your features. People only care about the benefits they’ll receive as a result.

Which means if you’re planning a marketing campaign, creating a sales presentation, designing a product package, writing a headline, revising your web site or engaging in any other effort to sell your product or service, you need to stop focusing on features and instead, focus on benefits.

It’s okay to mention your features, but only in the context of explaining how you’re going to deliver the promised benefits to your customer. If you lead with your features, your audience will tune you out.

When you focus less on what people don’t care about and more on what they do, your sales will increase. And isn’t that what you care about?

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