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Speak to benefits, not features

By Jody Bruner

May 16, 2021

Email Writing, Presentation Skills, Writing Skills

Speak to benefits, not features - highlighting-paperwork
Speak to benefits, not features - wave-lime-green-1260x540-1
Speak to benefits, not features - wave-lime-green-1260x540-1

It’s easy to fall into the trap of talking about the features of what you’re pitching. But readers don’t care about features; they only care about benefits. Speaking the language of benefits means you show the reader explicitly how their life will be better with your solution.

Here are two great strategies for making sure you speak the language of benefits.

  • Has/does/means. This works to force you to express what a feature means to your reader. For example, you can promise they will learn how to understand their customer’s needs, but this will only be meaningful to them if you express the benefit: “You will learn to understand your customers’ needs and gain their trust.” You can promise they’ll learn to ask questions, but this will be more compelling if you explain they’ll learn how to “ask the questions that will unlock hidden opportunities.”
  • What if you could…This strategy works by letting you paint a word picture for your reader of how life will be after your solution. So instead of “Learn how to handle difficult customers” you’d write “Learn to handle difficult customers with tact and turn them into fans.”

Try turning these features into benefits:

You will learn how to

  • listen actively
  • practice telephone etiquette
  • ask open and closed questions
  • say no to customers

Post your rewrites in the comments! I’d love to see what you come up with.

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