We all know that it is important to sell our products or services based on the benefits they provide, not on the features they contain. But why is that so hard to do? We just had an internal meeting this morning on some of the services our company offers. One of the key phases of our process is Ideation, a time that we spend with our clients digesting what’s been learned from their consumer and generating ideas for new products and services that can meet their (newly discovered) unmet needs. We’re always trying to make this process more valuable to the client, so after each project we brainstorm ways (internally) to improve for the next time.
One area that we became aware of in this discussion is that we have been very focused on showing our clients all the work that we’ve done. It’s not uncommon for us to agree (contractually) to study fifteen people, but actually interview more. Since we’ve gone above and beyond what was expected, we’ve always been determined to make that known… After all, giving the client more than what they expected is a great thing, right? As we discussed this, we came to the realization that highlighting the amount of work that we did can actually dilute the message we’re trying to promote. It’s not that doing extra work is wrong, but the focus has to remain on highlighting the benefit of our learning to our client. Looking at websites of other professional service firms shows me that we’re not alone. Everyone wants to share their process and convince you how hard they will work on your behalf.
Isn’t that really the struggle for all companies? Putting the consumer benefits on a product package does not give ample credit to the marketing and engineering folks that spent countless hours developing specific features. Our pride gets in the way. ”If we don’t tell them what we’ve done, how will they ever know?” Of course the consumer sees this at retail, gets quickly overwhelmed and wonders, “Why do I need this”? To be really successful, we need to put our pride aside, and focus our products on the benefits that are valued and provided. If we do this well, the features (and effort) we provide will not go unnoticed.