March 17, 2013 by Colin Kelly
This is a challenge a lot of us face and whether you’re posting a message on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin, or you’re dealing with the traditional media like newspapers, radio or television, you need to get good at it.
Some call it the ‘elevator pitch’. The idea being that you bump into a client as you enter the lift and by the time they get out on the 3rd floor, about 15 seconds later, you’ve told them what you do so clearly and succinctly that they could pass your details on to the next person they meet.
The problem is, particularly in the current economic climate, a lot of businesses do lots of different things. We don’t want to turn business away and part of our survival has been our ability to turn our hand to lots of different things.
This makes summing the business up in 15 seconds or a short status update very tricky. At best, it sends out a confused message. At worst, it bores people rigid. But there’s a simple way round it.
The trick is to focus on benefits rather than features.
So you don’t waste time listing all the things your business does but concentrate instead on how you help. The different you make. Why it all matters.
For example, the new Apple iPad Mini has a 7 inch screen.
That’s a feature.
The new Apple iPad Mini fits in your handbag.
Is a benefit.
If we talk about benefits we don’t need to bother with features. And we don’t need to do so much work selling the product, people decide they want it because they understand how it’s going to make their life easier. We’ve stimulated desire. Job done.
In my media training courses we spend time breaking your business down and finding the benefits. Then we work at articulating those benefits until the become second nature and roll off the tongue. Try now to come up with 5 benefits your business brings clients. Write them down and practice saying them.
Here are some more examples:
Feature: ‘The new Chevrolet Cruze has an aux-in lead for the car stereo.
Benefit: ‘The new Chevrolet Cruze lets you listen to your MP3 player through the speakers.’
Feature: The Breo Toddler Wobbler has an angled handle.
Benefit: Your child’s foot won’t hit the back of the Breo Toddler Wobbler so they’re less likely to fall.
The best ‘benefits’ conjure up pictures in our heads. We imagine ourselves at home using them product, reaping the rewards. Benefits are rooted in the real life application of the product or business we’re using. They might even make is feel emotional. Features tend to be more abstract, and it’s harder to feel an emotional connection with them. This means there’s still a barrier to overcome before we buy it.
So we’ll consider things like price. But if we understand and desire the benefit, the product will sell itself.
Maybe you don’t sell physical products, maybe you’re a service business. What are the benefits you bring to clients?