Articulating the benefits is essential when you want to convince a reader to accept your views, adopt your ideas, buy your product, choose your service, or take any other action you desire to achieve your aim.
Benefits are the answers to the client, customer or stakeholder’s WIIFM question – what’s in it for me?
One way to separate features from benefits is to list the features and ask “so what?” or “what good does that do?” for each one.
For example, a siren is a feature of a fire truck. The benefit of this feature is that when the noise alerts drivers that the fire truck is coming, they get out of the way and the fire truck can get to the fire sooner.
Another example: a feature of the Enterprise Access directory is the option to view hundreds of new technologies that are emerging from Australian research. The benefit for business owners is that they can find ways to improve their products, processes or services before their competitors do.
To help you distinguish the benefits from the features, consider how what you’re offering would satisfy their primary needs – make them healthier, wealthier and/or wiser.
Like your customer, ask “How will this product or service help me…
- Become richer, healthier, sexier, smarter?
- Save money, time, effort, angst?
- Attract customers, fortune, advantage?
- Look better, feel better, do better?”
‘Healthy, wealthy and wise’ is a handy heuristic when you have to pinpoint the pluses quickly.