Galvanizing Buyers with Benefits
by Marcia Yudkin
A nutritional supplement
seller says his product's uniqueness consists in
its containing a "broad-spectrum,
sustained-release antioxidant." A venture
capitalist says his uniqueness is a headquarters
in Vermont rather than Manhattan. A consultant
attributes her uniqueness to delivering advice
in three-hour rather than one-hour sessions.
All these claims, I'm sure,
are true. But something essential is missing
from each. What advantage does the buyer get
from these peculiarities? Your uniqueness
generates action only when you translate what's
so about your business into a "So
what?" for those interested in your product
In traditional terms, you must
translate the features of your business into
benefits for the buyer to awaken skeptical,
yawning prospects. This exercise is deceptively
difficult and amazingly powerful. Most business
owners are too immersed in their seller/provider
point of view to switch easily to the
perceptions of their customers. But once they
get their marketing statements to pass the
"So what?" test, readers of their
revamped brochures, press releases and sales
letters rise up and buy at startling rates.
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Let's analyze the examples
Many nutritional supplements
customers don't understand what's so great about
a product being "broad-spectrum" and
"sustained release" -- not to mention
being confused what "anti-oxidants"
can do for them. People who want to stay
young-looking and healthy will respond better
upon learning that this substance helps stall
the aging process and prevent degenerative
diseases, in a formulation that the body absorbs
quickly and that keeps on working for a long
For the venture capitalist,
being headquartered in Vermont means that he
looks more favorably on some unconventional
ventures than others, that he's more
approachable than big- city competitors and that
with low overhead, he can consider smaller deals
than other firms. All of this, spelled out,
would help attract the offbeat clients he
envisioned when he moved to the country.
I'm not sure the consultant
who delivers three-hour sessions has a rationale
for why longer stints benefit her clients. If it
led to faster resolutions, or deeper insights,
or saved them money, those would be valid
benefits. Asking "So what?" of her, I
came up with "So nothing." The
consultant invested a lot of energy and
resources in believing that her uniqueness
represents a marketing advantage. But until she
can say what that is, her outreach to customers
remains on shaky footing.
To perform this exercise
yourself, divide a sheet of paper in half
lengthwise and write each major fact about your
product or service in the left-hand column and
in the right-hand column, name the benefit of
each fact. For instance, what's the benefit of
Saturday and evening appointments? Convenience;
clients don't squander personal job time for
appointments during business hours.
Spelled-out benefits reach
deep inside of people, where they feel their
needs and become motivated to act. After
completing this chart, you have the ingredients
for marketing materials that generate telephone
calls, appointments and checks in your mailbox.
Learn From the
Masters of Straight-Talk Copywriting
In 2013 and 2014, Marcia Yudkin
convened the most articulate and
experienced practitioners of no-hype
copywriting for an exchange of ideas
on writing copy that persuades
without excessive showmanship or
stretching the truth.
Presenters included Peter Bowerman,
Nick Usborne, Shel Horowitz, Karon
Thackston and others.
recordings from this telesummit.
Copyright 2009 Marcia Yudkin.
All rights reserved.
Marcia Yudkin to write or rewrite sales letters,
brochures, web sites, flyers, press releases or
other marketing materials.
to become a well-paid copywriter/marketing
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