There is a ton of discussion in marketing circles about focusing on the benefits of your product or service over just rattling off the features, as the benefits are what the customer really cares about and the features are just the specific mechanism that your product or service uses to provide the benefit.
There is a deeper level though that you would be wise to focus on that just the benefits and that is the value and the end result that your customers are seeking.
One famous example comes from The Home Depot. Their customer doesn’t really want a 1/4″ drill bit, the result that they really want is a 1/4″ hold in the wall and the 1/4″ drill bit is just the tool used to get that hole. The tool itself isn’t the result that the customer is looking for, it is just the means to the end.
Remember when you are talking to your customers that what they are really looking for is the end result. They want their problem to be solved and a thing of the past, for the most part they don’t really care how it gets solved, they just want it complete.
Avoid commoditization of your services especially as well as your products by emphasizing the value that your customers receive and the results they will achieve with your products and services rather than just the features and benefits.
Solutions and results are much more valuable and worth significantly more to your customers.
I ran across this fantastic article in FastCompany.com that uses a compelling story about a dead squirrel to explain the concept of Value Pricing that too few B2B companies take advantage of. http://goo.gl/QUyrt
What You Can Learn About Business From A Dead Squirrel
The article is specifically targeted toward B2B companies and implies that the technique works only for that kind of relationship, but B2C companies can benefit as well by emphasizing the value that they are providing to their customers, rather than focusing on the features or even the benefits of the product or service.
Unlike how many B2B companies sell and market their offerings, NW Pest did not overwhelm us with the details of their animal removal equipment, their process for animal removal or the credentials of their technicians. They focused on our problem, guaranteed it would be solved or no charge and made it clear how they would make our lives better. Through their hiring practices, training, and equipment, they clearly invested in optimizing specific services that offer maximum value to their customers.
Many B2B companies worry about the commoditization of their offerings and their inability to justify premium pricing. They could probably learn a lot from thinking about NW Pest’s pricing model for dead squirrels.
Don’t forget to Like this on Facebook as share with your friends so they can benefit as well.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below too.
[Image: Flickr user Dawn Huczek]