This article may very well burn the backsides of a lot of people.

Because, everyone who reads it will end up having one of those, "Ah-hah" moments that both enlighten us as well as give us a swift kick in the pants for not paying attention sooner.

The reason why is because …

"Benefits" is a word that a lot of marketers, consultants and entrepreneurs like to knock around like a Wilson tennis ball at a US Open.

You often hear them say things like, "sell the benefits not the features" or "people buy benefits not features."

The truth is, these people are only half right. They're just getting part of the big picture. And as tough as this may sound, many say it, but they do not have the slightest clue as to what a true benefit is.

So how can a person, marketer, consultant or entrepreneur figure it out? How can a well meaning, customer focused person figure out how to find and differentiate true benefits?

Simple, and they're easier to spot than you think.

The two places to look are billion dollar companies and direct response sales letters!

But, before you start thinking that I've flipped my lid and expect you to delve into the inner workings of massive corporations, or the top-secret swipe files of world-class copywriters, just think about this.

No, I will not put your life in danger by those evil copywriters out there. Wink, wink.

You see, there are really only two main types of benefits.

The first one is a "functional benefit." Often called a feature, the functional benefit can easily be identified as something like, the fast, overnight delivery from a company like FedEx or all the office supplies you need under one roof at your local Staples.

The second type of benefit is the "emotional benefit." An emotional benefit can be identified as the ease and comfort you experience knowing that your package will arrive by the next business day at your desired destination or the reduced stress and feelings of happiness when you get everything you need for your office.

When you look at billion dollar corporations like FedEx, Microsoft, Home Depot, Best Buy, Staples or any number of the big players in any industry, you'll find that they have an firm grass and a perfect mix of functional and emotional benefits inherent in their product or service.

Now, a more simpler task would be to read through a few strongly written sales letters and you'll find that the ones that are the most compelling or rather persuasive, are the ones that have a combination of "both" functional and emotional benefits. Effective sales copy whether brief or long, will always have a combination of both.

Many may appeal on the side of emotional benefits but it is only when you pay close attention to the copy that you discover both functional and emotional benefits hidden within the sales copy.

So the next time you decide to create a product, service, write a business plan or write a sales letter, spend a careful chunk of time on unaware both your functional and emotional benefits.

As you can clearly see, massive success can be achieved when you combine these two types of benefits.

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