Writing for sales: so maybe we DO need a few features…

It had to happen, didn’t it. We stretched the elastic band so tight on heart-centred sales and conversational copywriting and benefits-only wording that the other day, it snapped.

It was someone on LinkedIn who made the point that sharing the benefits of a product or service is all fine and dandy, but what if your prospect asks how you make those benefit promises come true? Not with smoke and mirrors, presumably. So here we must turn to corroborating features. Snap!

article on features

OK, but how do you make it Texas’ best bread?

I’m sending myself up here because I’ve been bleating on about “benefits sell, features smell” since the Dark Ages of my former career as a copywriter. (NB: I still deal with features and benefits in the planning and marketing of nonfiction books.)

So how do features work when our words are benefits-led?

As this person on LinkedIn sensibly pointed out, use features to back up your benefit promises.

Let’s think up a few examples, starting with meeeeee…

Benefit:
The expert support and advice you need to become a published author.
Feature:
Until recently a skilled copywriter and content marketer; has written and had published 36 own books. Author coach since 2018, 11 clients’ books now completed and published.

Benefit: 
I help people wake up to their full potential via mindfulness coaching.
Feature:
Many years’ experience in sales and management at corporate level, combined with extensive training in mindfulness and coaching. Experience that matters.

Benefit:
Shifting your business mindset, behaviours & results to match your best life goals.
Feature:
Very high qualifications in a variety of sciences and coaching practices combined with a unique, feisty delivery that gets you rethinking yourself – fast.

Benefit:
Using creativity to help managers and trainers reduce stress within workplace teams
Feature:
Online and live workshops teaching people how to make polymer clay beads and then make those into jewellery and other artifacts

writing tipsBenefit:
Giving business owners their time back for more important things
Feature:
Highly experienced office manager, personal assistant, secretary and administrator now offering virtual assistance

Benefit:
Unleash the power of social media in just 20 minutes per day
Feature:
Unique social media management system plus full training and support greatly reduces user’s time yet costs just £XX per month

Benefit:
Supporting women business owners to live the dream
Feature:
Sociable face-to-face and online networking, training and one-to-one support for business women in our region

…and my favourite of them all:

Benefit:
Helping you look good
Feature:
A highly qualified and experienced business portrait photographer with additional experience in marketing and PR

When you write the ‘what’ and the ‘why,’ make sure the ‘how’ isn’t too far behind

Much as I have been snotty about features in the past, they do have a useful role to play by backing up your ‘what’ and your ‘why.’

No matter how much we now tend to view sales conversations and writing in a much more human, person-to-person light, sooner or later prospectd are going to ask ‘how’ your product or service will deliver reliably and effectively.

Just remember not to lead with features, no matter how in love you are with the latest exponential growth accelerator or ground-breaking mindfulness technique or sexy SaaS software.

What’s your experience of features backing up benefits?

Please share!

 

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