You’re sick. You head off to the doctors to get expert advice as to what sickness you have. The doctor prescribes you some medicine – which you take diligently even though it tastes absolutely GROSS – only to re-live the nightmare a few weeks later, when the symptoms come back – with a vengeance.
Ugh! Not again! Is there NO cure?
As silly as this sounds, the same goes for your business. Your customers come to you for expert advice to cure their ailments. But what they GET is a lot of medicine and no CURE.
Now you’re probably thinking, the „cure“ IS what I’m SELLING.
What you’re SELLING isn’t what your customer needs. What they need are the emotional benefits attached to your products or services. Let’s go back to our doctor for a second to explain. When the doctor prescribes you medicine, are you primarily buying into the „medicine“ or are you buying into the „cure“?
The cure of course!
You’re buying the CURE of: Being healthy, taking away the sick feelings and being back-on-your-feet-in-no-time. Whatever „medicine“ the doctor prescribes is in reality a „feature“ and not necessarily a cure.
Consumers buy into emotional benefits rather than sleazy features.
And the same goes for your products and services. Your customers aren’t interested in buying your „features“. They want to buy into the emotional benefits, in other words, „What’s in it for them? How is it going to make them FEEL? How will this enrich their life?“.
I would love to show you how this can be applied to YOUR products or services. Ready? It all starts with a simple question of So What?
Let’s say you’re a stockist of beads and co. in Cape Town, South Africa. And say these were you usual lines of „selling“ and/or reasons you’re giving to your customer to buy from you:
- Your customers can meet with you easily as you’re a local business
- By meeting personally, you get a better viewpoint of their needs and an understanding for their business
- you’re better able to provide them what they need
- Therefore making it easier to suggest the beads and elements that would best be suited to what the designer requires for an upcoming dancing competition.
Now these four reasons you’ve given that you use to sell to your customers are called FEATURES. And your customer cares diddly-squat about them.
As devastating as it sounds. Whenever you mention all these features in any of your selling and advertising, your customer switches off and/or finds what you’re selling “sleazy“.
To reverse this effect, you need to ask after every „feature“ the „So what?“ question. Okay let’s go!
- You can meet with your customers easily because you’re situated locally – So what?
- You can gain a better understanding of their needs and business – So what?
- You can suggest beads and co. that’s specially appropriate for the upcoming dance competition – So what?
- By being close by and understanding your clients needs, your beads and co. suggestions, can enhance a dance outfit that the designer wants to create for an upcoming competition – which he/she hopes to win and gain the respect and famosity that he or she has been working hard to attain – and the specially designed dance outfit with the right beads and co. combination will compliment the dancers and their choreography, literally making them SHINE on the dancefloor.
As soon as you can’t ask the „So what?“ question anymore, you’ve found your emotional benefits. And THAT is what gets your customers attention. Most businesses sell their products and/or services with a gazillion FEATURES, totally forgetting the emotional benefits. The latter being the main pulling point for brand awareness, recognition and SALES!
Now before you think this is hogwash, let me give you a world-renowned brand example…Red Bull: Their advertising states clearly that by buying and drinking Red Bull, that you will be given „WINGS TO FLY“ i.e. gain the courage you need to step out of your comfort zone and do things you’ve always wanted to do but never dared to do. Red Bull isn’t advertising all the ingredients, the cool tin with red and silver and their super-fly logo. Or the conveniency of where to find Red Bull…These are features that support the brand. They’re „selling“ through EMOTIONAL BRANDING (BENEFITS).
Isn’t this awesome? Now I want to show you how to do this yourself.
Ready? I would like to use the example of Instagram (if you’re not on Instagram, the same can be done for a Facebook post).
STEP #1 Write down your EMOTIONAL BENEFITS for your TARGET AUDIENCE. For the Beads & Co. Company – their target audience is „dancers“.
Two examples of their emotional benefits are:
- Shining the light on the star in you
- Inspiration and Design through creative dance
- For each of those benefits write down a „Hashtag“ (what’s a hashtag? Click here to find out for example: #shineyourlight #fame #stepintoyourlight #beads #crystal … when you use the hashtag
- For each of those benefits select an emotional visual – not a SALES visual i.e. a close up of the RAW product (for example loose beads) see the example below.
- Now think of a headline for that visual. My examples would be:
- Shining the light on the star in you : Be The Light You Want To See In The World
- Inspiration and design through creative dance : Let the design inspire you.
- Be sure to add your logo in the right –hand corner – not too big but recognizable.
- Now you’re ready to share…And remember to share wherever your target audience is – not „just because“ everyone else is doing it…
- If you’re sharing on Instagram – be sure to add an inspirational few lines in addition to your hashtags
- If you’re adding in Facebook – you’re able to write a few more lines than in Instgram – use the headlines and arouse the benefits you jotted down.
When you just blurt out and post all the FEATURES about your products or services, you’re guaranteed to lose the attention of your customers. And you don’t want that, right? Of course not! Admittedly, this „emotional benefits of selling“ does take a litlte more to think and plan but the results are far more profitable in the long-run.
And that is afterall your goal right? To not only love what you do, but earn a living from your business?
I love this blog post. You’re spot-on with the differences between sales/features selling and emotional selling. I admit my own selling is less emotional than it probably should be. I’m in the marketing consulting business and since my clients are in business or are businesses, I sometimes forget how much they still want emotional outcomes from my work. The hard part is each client currently wants different emotional outcomes and I’m not sure they’d admit it. Some clients want to talk to me every day. I think it makes them feel important or like they’re getting their money’s worth. Other clients only talk over email and seem to be cool just letting me do my thing. I don’t know… you’ve given me some stuff to think about. 🙂
Fellow “Freaking Amazing” group member!
Lovely Rosella (love your name btw!)
I have a poster in my office and it reads: People (not consumers) buy from People not from Companies. This reminds me for every campaign that I work with – and I’m very selective with whom I work – to avoid “just doing it for the money”, which is very trying at times but also very rewarding. But I digress 😉 This poster reminds me to design campaigns that are directed to PEOPLE and not businesses. All businesses are run by people. We all want emotion. It’s what drives us towards laughter, sadness, and more importantly, towards our purpose in life and fulfilling it.
And that’s where the super-powers of Benefits and Features come in. A very wise woman I know reminded me not to see “features” as the enemy, but the OUTCOME of the benefits…Now that got ME thinking 😀
Much love and gratitude lovely Rosella…
Your fellow “Marketing Buddy” 🙂
Thank you for the great tips Sashka! I am in the process of rewriting my copy so will make sure my copy is more ’emotional’:-) But most of all I need to sit down with myself and come up with the list of the emotional benefits so I connect with my clients better;-)
Hi there lovely Aska,
If you’d like a head to butt against ie get some input – please just holler…:-*