How do I write benefits into features that aren’t features?

How do I write benefits into features that aren't features?In many types of business message there aren’t any features at all – at least nothing as easy to identify as an “AL-alloy metal frame with HK-147 PVC compound, polyurethane seat and back rest,” for example.

What you do have, though, are objectives. And even those are intangible, to all intents and purposes we can treat those as features, so we can then make the conversion from feature/objective (what something is) to benefit (what it does for you) just as we can when the feature is as tangible as an AL-alloy frame.

Take a look down this list. In it I have identified a range of features/objectives which most of us are obliged to make into messages at some time or another, and I’ve then supplied some benefits – or at least one key sample benefit – to go with each. The feature/objective is in bold with suggested benefit/benefits underneath…

Inform
Increase your knowledge
Make sure you’re up to speed
Give you the edge over our competitor

Sell them a new concept or process
If we adopt this, your job will be easier and smoother to run
You’ll never have to waste time doing tedious (whatever) again
Your job is safe: any redundancies will be covered by natural wastage

Train
Improve their skills and abilities so you are better at what you do
Gain useful transferable skills to further your career
Help you get the best from your job now

Rebuke
Be aware of how serious such a problem can be
Learn from the experience so you’ll see it coming next time
Improve your problem-solving skills

Complain
Help you be instantly aware of a problem
Helps you to raise the standard of your performance and that of our team
Means you’ll give even better service next time

Entertain
Welcome chance to relax and have fun at company’s expense
Opportunity to get to know your colleagues better
Developing work friendships helps your team work more cheerfully and effectively

Calm
Despite these being troubled times we are secure here in this company
Your job is safe
You’ll be relieved to hear that (whatever)

Sympathize
You know that we understand how difficult the business is right now
Your extra efforts are deeply appreciated by management
Thank you for your loyalty – that matters so much to everyone

Reassure
The company is safe and so is your job
You can check for yourself by reading the current company accounts
We have big plans for the future and we want you to share them with us

Energize
Our new orders mean we’re going to be busy – great news for us all
Hope you’re feeling good as we’ve got a lot to do this week
When this rush is over, we’ll all get together for a beer and a breather

Motivate
If we keep going at this rate there will be good bonuses for everyone this year
We can show the competition how the job really should be done
Anyone else is doing the job, but we are all true professionals

Uplift
You are one of our key people and your contribution is critical
Our customers truly appreciate you and your service – read these testimonials
You can be proud of our team – and of yourself

And so-on. My examples may be well off-beam for what you need in your particular business or organization, but at least they will get you thinking in the right way.

So when you need to write the benefits for “you” in features which are intangible objectives, don’t panic … just check out this list!

Now, write yourself some benefits from all  your writing:

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Business Writing Made Easy…everything you need to know about writing for business in English

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English

 

photo credit: Mara ~earth light~ via photo pin cc

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