One of the best examples I’ve found when trying to see the difference between product features and customer benefits is to think of it in terms of music.
When I purchase music, I couldn’t care less how the music was made, the types of instruments used or the equipment used to record it. I buy it based on the benefit I’m going to receive from listening to it.
Unless I’m one of the less than 1% of music buyers who would care about things like that, then they simply are not relevant. If a salesperson (in the days when they had music stores) were to spend their time conveying to me everything about how the recording was made, I would very likely say “no sale” and walk out.
View what you sell as music, whether it be a product or service.
By thinking of it in this context, you’ll be able to understand better what the customer is looking for and you’ll be far less focused on talking about product features.
As practice, ask yourself what things you look for in the music you buy? What are the benefits you want fulfilled? Ask yourself what are some of the reasons you don’t buy a particular type of music.
The reason you don’t buy something is most likely not based on the quality of the instruments or the type of recording studio used. No, you chose not to buy something because it isn’t going to deliver the benefits you desire.
I can’t stress this enough and I also can’t stress enough the simplicity of this process.
The biggest gain you’ll get from looking at what you sell in this manner is you’ll find yourself connecting with the customer faster and closing sales faster — and doing both at a higher price.
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.
Excellent post! I like the music metaphor and will use it with attribution. Thanks.