How to Locate and Define Benefits that Turn Prospects into Buyers

How to Locate and Define Benefits that Turn Prospects into Buyers

Reader Comments (27)

  1. I was listening to an interview just yesterday that Derek Halpern did that covered this very topic. He and the person being interviewed compared figuring out feature/benefits to what’s on a dating site. While it can be useful to know someone is 5′ 10″ with brown hair, or that they went to X college, or have X kind of job, those features are only useful in influencing choice to a certain extent. Especially once people meet. There’s more to it than that (hopefully). I also agree that there are times that features are going to have more weight. If you’re looking for a red pillow, you want a red pillow. However, if you’re not sure what color you want, that’s where benefits (it adds a burst of brightness) can come into play. Nicely done Kelton.

    • If you were interested Kelton, the interview is the latest article on my site. It’s with Dan Ariely, and it’s billed as “why people should design websites for the “Homer Simpson’s” of the world.

  2. I totally agree with all this, and what I love the most is the emotional hook of “feels like you need to be a psychologist” to sell anything.

    I don’t know about everyone else, but the “scene” was really starting to FEEL that way, but it’s just not true. Following basic copy- and business- principles that have been around for a while and are still reliable, feels faaaar more appealing.

    Great job, Kelton 🙂

    • …basic copy-and-business-principles that have been around for a while…

      You mean principles based on human nature? Which is another way of saying psychology? 😉

      Everything related to communication involves human psychology. It’s nothing to be intimidated about. It just helps you learn how to deal with people better, and everyone should strive for that.

      • Plus, it’s easy to learn about psychology nowadays, with authors like Dan Ariely, Jonah Lehrer, and Malcolm Gladwell.

  3. Hi Kelton,
    I have been delving into this subject for a client just this week and you’re so right. It can feel like we need to enrol at college and get a psychology degree before we can deign to put pen to paper. I listened to the Copyblogger podcast with John Carlton talking to Robert Bruce over the weekend for about the seventh time and am still learning new stuff from it. It’s good to know that there are methods for getting to the heart of the matter – even better to know that they are proven!

    Great post – thanks!

    • That is a fantastic podcast with Carlton (and it’s 2 parts). Try to count the number of words Robert Bruce gets out of his mouth. Hint: It’s a low number.

  4. Hi Kelton,

    It’s good to see a post that blends the skills of the copywriting greats with the latest discoveries in neuroscience. For me it’s a 1+1=3 combination.

    When I’m attempting to turn prospects into buyers, It helps me to start by thinking that people pay to repeat positive emotions or to avoid negative emotions. Then I’d follow your 4-step process. The one step I’d add is to try and quantify the benefit – it just makes it more credible (as long as it’s not hyped) and adds a little extra punch.

  5. I’ve been “on” this topic right now as part of a project I’m working on, and so reading this today reinforces my decision to include it as part of the discussion within my team. I agree about the psychology stuff, but I eat that up! Good stuff, nice article Kelton.

  6. Beautiful, I loved the way you broke down the steps to creating a awesome benefit. Actually taking the time to understand the feature, we pull out what the customer is looking for with a solid benefit. Its like reading their minds.

  7. Like you say, there is soooo much info “thrown at us” online that to stand out and be noticed does feel like you need a degree in psychology just for starters. Thanks for breaking this topic down and for the clear and easy way you have written your post and info included. Much appreciated. Stay blessed.

  8. Can’t remember who said it…Dan Kennedy?…people buy with emotion and then justify their purchase (often to their spouses) based on logic. Benefits = emotion, features = logic. So it’s important to show the potential buyer both, but understand the reasons why.

    • Kennedy has probably taught it at some point — like us, he’s a student of the copywriting greats of the past, and this is one of the enduring truths of persuasive writing.

  9. Kelton, I totally appreciate your breaking down the process into those steps. Frankly, I’m tired of being told (bopped over the head’s more like it) Benefits! Not Features! Without giving any help on how to do it. I get that it’s incredibly important but until I’ve retrained my brain to think that way, it’s hard to do. It seems to be second nature for professional copywriters of yore, but not for yours truly. Seeing how you took it step by step was really helpful. Tx!

  10. You nailed it. In a world of similar products and services, emotionally motivating the audience could be one differentiating element. That’s the power of emotions.

  11. Kelton,
    Thank you for the great article. I particularly liked the practical step by step approach. Another way to discover worthwhile benefits is with focused information interviews with current and past clients. The key is knowing what questions to ask, how to reveal how they feel (no rhyme intended really!), why they chose to work with you and those lovely (often unspoken but very real) that results you and your product/services bring.

  12. “The confidence [sic]… regardless of how many versions of WordPress come out” – business translation… be available, be reachable. One thing I typically hear (yes hear) is the gasp on the phone (or “oh wow, you really are there” in an email). The amazement that there is a human being on the other end of that website, blog, what have you. People really do buy [interact, etc.] from people they feel they know.

  13. I’ve been busy re-shaping company copy based on this article. It would be really helpful if the process was carried all the way through using the example to Step 5: Actual Copy. I would love to see a sample of how to best tie the features and emotional benefits together.

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