I’m going to ask you to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
It doesn’t matter what you are selling, whether it is a service or a physical product. Whether you are selling it from a shop or office, or online. I want you to forget what you know about what you are selling and look at it from your customer’s eyes.
What do they see?
Well, let’s see now.
Do you think they take attention to how it’s made? Do you think the first thing they notice is the shiny thing it’s been made from, or if you are selling a service, the years of experience and learning you’ve been through?
Do you think they are initially attracted to your wonderful brochure or website about how your engineering or materials are better than your competitors? Do you think they are immediately focused on how your processes and procedures make your service the best there is?
I seriously doubt it.
I told you to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Maybe that was too difficult to do because you know your product so well, that you still see it with your own eyes, so let’s change it up.
Think of something you want to buy – it might be the latest iPhone, or a smartwatch, or maybe even lunch! Or right now, you might want to buy a service, perhaps a session at a day spa or you need your taxes done?
Whatever it is, think of something you want right now.
Then imagine yourself going to buy it. At the store or in front of your computer, what is it that first attracts you as you browse? Be honest.
I’ll bet it was something about the look, or what it might do for you, or a feeling, not the technology or the quality of the service.
Here are the things that I think might have occurred to you:
“That looks so cool.”
“Everyone will be so impressed.”
“I’ll be the envy of my friends.”
“I can use it to be organised.”
“I don’t have to worry about the taxman anymore.”
“I’m so hungry, and it will taste great.”
All these reactions to a product or a service are what first occurs to you as a buyer, not that the smartwatch has the latest chip, or your lunch is made from organic produce.
It’s the same with your customers.
As buyers, we are all satisfying that great buyers’ question: WIIFM?
Or, What’s In It For Me?
What benefit do I get out of buying this product or service?
We all buy first with our heart, and then we try to justify it with our head. After you are attracted by how cool it will look or what worries you can get rid of, then you start to back up your original attraction with some logical thinking:
“It’s the latest version so it won’t go out of date for a few years.”
“The aluminium will be easy to clean.”
“These guys are experts at tax.”
“The beef in the hamburger is from an organic farm.”
Your customers don’t buy your product because of what it’s made of. They don’t buy your service because of your expertise or the care you put into it. They buy your product because of the benefits it gives them. They buy what makes them look good and feel good.
So, what this means for you and your marketing is, stop telling them how good your technology is!
Stop writing facts and figures on your website and in your brochures! Stop trying to impress them with the features of your product or service, and instead tell them of the benefits they will get from buying from you.
What your customers love about benefits is what those benefits do for them. The benefits your product represents to them must make them feel good, or less stressed, they must make them feel that they have an advantage over others or that they can feel better about themselves.
Yes, you must back this up with some good quality, because if you don’t and you are selling them the sizzle without the sausage, they won’t be back – or they m,ight take you to the industrial court for false advertising!
So, make sure you do this analysis of your product or service:
List the Features
First, do what you know best – list all the features that are built into your product or service. List the great material it is made from, list why it will last, or why it is the fastest, strongest or most powerful. If you’re selling a service, list your skill and experience, list the type of training you give your staff, list the procedures you’ve put into place to provide the service.
List the Benefits
Then, for each feature, write the benefit of that feature to your customer.
If your product is the fastest – write down that it saves them time.
If your product is made of titanium steel – write down that it is unbreakable, even to the clumsiest user.
If you have decades of experience – write down that they have the benefit of someone who has done everything.
If you have a great skill – tell them that they get service with no mistakes.
“What’s In It For Me?”
Then, for each feature and matching benefit, identify what’s in it for them.
If your product is the fastest and it saves them time – then write down how much extra time they can spend relaxing.
If your service is based on your skill and they will get the service with no mistakes – then write down how they can stop worrying immediately.
Turn your marketing messages around to give them the WIIFM – explicitly show them, this is what’s in it for you – loads of time to sit by the pool, no more worry, show off the product that lasts forever, rely on the many ideas you have for their problem.
Your customers love the benefits of your product because of what they mean to them in terms of how they will make them look or feel, so make sure you tell them how they will look and feel.
So, there you go! That’s what your customers love about benefits.
Now, my challenge to you.
In the next 30 days, I want you to do this: –
- On the first day, set one hour aside. Take a separate sheet of paper for each product or service that you sell. For each product or service, write down a complete list of all the features of that product or service. What is it made of? How do you provide the service? What are the specifications? What is the cost?
- On the second day, set another hour aside and then pull out those sheets of paper with your products or services and their features – and for each feature I want you to write down one benefit that the customer will get from the feature. For example if it is made of the best steel – write down “it lasts forever”. If it has the fastest motor, write down “it helps you finish the job quickly”. If you provide tax returns and a feature is your computer software, write down “it is fast and efficient”.
- On the third day, take an hour to work on half the products or services. Take half the pages you’ve already been working on and for each product’s list of features and benefits, I want you to write for each feature-benefit at least one way the customer will get “what’s in it for me”. If your product “lasts forever”, write “you save money because one is all you’ll ever buy”. If you provide accurate tax returns, say “you’ll never have to worry about the Tax Man.”
- On the fourth day, take an hour and work on the second half of your products or services – what is one “WIIFM” that you can tell your customer for each feature-benefit?
- On day 5, you’ll need two hours. Take the two hours to think because it will give you an immediate benefit when you sell your product or service in this way! Review what you have written, but concentrate on the “WIIFM” that you did on day 4. For each product or service, choose the most attractive WIIFM that you think will move your customer to buy. Or, see if there is a pattern to the WIIFM’s that you have listed – perhaps they all point to the fact that the customer can save time.
- On the sixth day, take an hour, and for each product or service, write down one sentence that summarises what the customer will get as a WIIFM and a benefit. If, in the product where you feel the customer will save time, perhaps you write “Want to spend more time with your family?” Or if it’s the accurate tax return that stops you worrying, say “Leave the fear to us and go live your happy life”.
- On the seventh day, start practising! At every point of contact with a customer, when you discuss a product or service, or where you can steer the conversation to a product or service, start with the WIIFM. “Hey, I know you have to mow the lawn, but wouldn’t you prefer to spend more time with your family? Then you need this automatic lawnmower because it’s so fast you get it done in half the time!” Or, “Yes, I know that you’ve been audited in the past, but I think you need to leave the fear to us and go and live your life. Look, this is what we can do for you…”
- And days 8 to 30? Keep it up! Keep practising until you are good at it – good at pointing out the WIIFM to your customer and see how their eyes light up when you hit their hot button. If you don’t see it happening, pull out your sheet for that product and look again. Perhaps you haven’t got the WIIFM identified correctly – ask one of them and then tweak your message!
So off you go – try it for 30 days.
What have you got to lose?
If you want more marketing hacks, go through my blog posts from teikoh.com – they are full of tips and tools and processes you can use in marketing your small business.
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See you next week!
(Photo by frankie cordoba on Unsplash)