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Wed 12 May 2004

Features, Functions, and Benefits

Category : Commentary/featuresFunctionsBenefits.txt

Zig Ziglar, in The Ultimate Handbook for the Complete Sales Professional, makes a very clear distinction between features, functions, and benefits, adding that you can only sell on benefits - because everyone tunes into WII-FM (what's in it for me!).

That's why I have a lot of problems with the Mac-BMW comparisons. It's a nice analogy but it has zero effectiveness.

Expensive cars are but one of the many ways people have at their disposal to signal an elevated status (whether real or imagined). We can talk all we want about the features of a BMW, or an Audi (like the author of the following article did when comparing the Mac to an Audi), as the case may be. But the chief benefit that an expensive car confer its owner is status.

Now, when do you ever hear of people buying expensive computers to gain instant status recognition, and arouse envy among the neighbours? Okay, geeks may understand the phrase, "So, how much is your mind worth?", and some Mac users may feel that they're using the BMW of computing. But the argument that we can get ordinary people to plunk their money down for the most expensive computers, just so they can feel rich, is inane, isn't it? I don't have to work very hard to prove that it doesn't work.

There's a saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome. So why not try selling it a different way? You've got to sell on benefits and you've got to think about what those benefits are. And there are real benefits to using a Mac. But you've got to think really differently, for a change.

Posted at 10:17AM UTC | permalink


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