I was flipping through a local wellness magazine the other day and was drawn to review the advertisements in the publication. Some of the ads focused on the services (features) being offered, without any mention of the benefits. For example, one ad had a list of services –shiatsu massage, reflexology, spiritual counselling, yoga — but didn’t specify who the services are intended for (authentic community or target market) and the benefits.
When people buy a service or product, they’re buying it, primarily, because of the benefit or result they’ll receive from using the product or service, not because of the modalities being used or their features. That’s why it’s important to effectively articulate benefits when you’re promoting your services and products.
What I saw in the wellness publication mirrored what I’ve experienced with many of my clients when they first set out to write their own promotional copy; often, they focus on the features and don’t effectively frame what they offer in terms of the benefits. However, with some coaching and support, they learn how to convey the benefits of their services or products in authentic, compelling and client-attractive ways … and you can, too!
The Difference Between Benefits and Features
Before you can capture the benefits of your offerings, it’s helpful to understand the distinction between benefits and features. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a benefit as “something that provides an advantage or gain”, whereas, a feature is “a distinctive or characteristic part of a thing”.
To clarify these differences further, benefits answer the questions, “What will I gain from using this service or product? What results will I experience?” Features are factual descriptions of the characteristics of a product or service. For example, a six-session, one-hour shiatsu massage package is a feature; relief of muscle tension and pain is a benefit.
As you sit down to write promotional copy for your services and products, whether this is for an ad, a talk, an email offer or the service description page of your website, remember to lead with the benefits first, before mentioning the features.
Tips to Help You Express the Benefits of Your Offerings
When you powerfully convey the benefits of your services and products, it inspires prospective clients to buy from you. Here are some suggestions to support you in articulating the benefits of your offerings:
1) Put Yourself in Your Prospective Clients’ Shoes
It’s true, on a spiritual and energetic level, that we are all one. However, this doesn’t mean we always see things from the same perspective. So, it’s helpful to use your interconnectedness with your prospective clients to see things from their view.
Close your eyes and imagine you’re energetically connecting with your prospective clients. What result or results do they have a strong desire to experience? Is this a benefit they’ll receive from using your products or services?
2) Identify the Core Benefit of Your Offerings
To hone this further, what is the number one or central benefit a prospective client will experience from using your services or products? The core benefit of your offerings is the ultimate reason prospective clients will buy from you and it relates to a specific outcome or goal.
3) For Each Feature of Your Service or Product, Describe What the Benefit Is
Once you’ve identified the overall, core benefit of your offerings, look at each feature of each of your services or products and describe what the benefit of this feature is. The question to ask yourself is, “what will a prospective client gain as a result of this particular feature?”
4) Think in Terms of Both Tangible and Intangible Benefits
As a wellness professional, when clients use your services or products, they likely receive a plethora of tangible and intangible benefits, regardless of what modalities you use. So describe both tangible and intangible results. For example, “increased physical energy and stamina” (tangible benefit), “improved ability to focus and concentrate” (tangible benefit), “increased feelings of happiness, empowerment and fulfillment” (intangible benefit) and “ability to live with an open heart” (intangible benefit).
All of this is most effective when it’s directed to a specific group of people with a specific challenge/desire that you’ve been called to help resolve/fulfill (your authentic community). Serving your authentic community, rather than a broad, general audience, allows you to really understand the benefits this particular group is looking for and tailor your products and services better to deliver these benefits.
Of course, as always, I encourage you to connect within with your own Higher Guidance to discern what feels true for you and to support you in the process of articulating the benefits of your services and products.
In The Prosperous Healer’s Path™ Business Success Program, clients receive hands-on support with framing and articulating the benefits and features of their services and products, so they can successfully promote their offerings and attract clients with ease and joy.
© Copyright 2012 Mary C. Davis, ANAM TURAS. All rights reserved.
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