Features vs Benefits Do you Know the Difference?

The key to a successful sale is matching the benefits of your product or service to your customers’ needs. Think of it as presenting the solution to his or her particular problem. Today’s sales people are problem solvers, using their product or service to make life easier for their customers.

Features vs Benefits Do you know the difference?

A mistake common in many sales people, particularly those just starting out in their careers, is the failure to recognise the difference between features and benefits. This results in them telling their prospects all about what they have to offer without once thinking about what that means to the customer. We have all heard the phrase ‘telling isn’t selling’. Unless the customer can see what difference buying the product will make to their lives they are unlikely to place an order. Always think ‘what is in it for the customer?’

Features vs Benefits Do you know the difference?Business_4_male_19.ai

In simple terms a feature is something that the product has. For example a new car could be advertised to include the following features:

3 zone climate control

Electrically folding wing mirrors

Dynamic rear LED lights

Unless the benefit of these features is explained to the prospective buyer they will have no effect on his decision whether to buy. He is only interested in what they do for him (the benefit) and not what they are (the feature).

Features vs Benefits. Do you know the difference?

What is missing here is the ‘so what’. Every time you mention a feature it must lead to a benefit:

The new VW Passat has 3 zone climate control so that your front and rear seat passengers can set their own temperature independently increasing their comfort levels.

The new VW Passat has electrically folding wing mirrors which means that they are unable to get damaged either accidentally or deliberately once your car is parked.

The new VW Passat has rear LED lights which means that you are more visible in poor conditions leading to an improvement in all round safety.

By linking the feature to a benefit with phrases such as ‘which means that’ every time your sales argument becomes much more powerful and likely to result in a positive response from the customer.

The Last Hurdle Sales training includes a session devoted to the difference between features and benefits. To find out more please give us a call.


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