Features & Benefits: Sell the Sizzle, Not the Sausage!

When I’m with a client discussing the design of their new website, I often talk about selling the “sizzle”, not the “sausage”. This is an essential factor in getting the highest possible number of enquiries from your website. So what is this about the “sizzle”? The sizzle is the benefit, and the real reason people buy things, as opposed to the “sausage”, which is the feature.

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features and benefits sell the sizzle not the sausage

Use features and benefits to sell the sizzle not the sausage

What you don’t think of are the features! How it’s actually packaged slices of dead pig.

How to sell Benefits instead of Features

We’re probably all guilty of pushing the features of our products or services. But the customers don’t really care. When we do that, we’re assuming that they understand why they should buy our products or service because they have a list of their “features”. What they really want to know is… what’s in it for them? What is the benefit to them?

How will they feel, what will they gain or what will they avoid, how will they look? The customer wants to know what your product or service can do for them. What problem will it solve or avoid?

To use this yourself, think of a feature you offer and add “… means that…”. Like this…

  • Buying a top quality diamond engagement ring means that your Wife will always have a reminder of how much you love her.
  • Investing in an architecturally designed home means that no one else will have a house exactly like yours.
  • Putting your architecturally designed home in a family trust means that even though you will probably lose the diamond ring in the divorce, your most valuable asset is safe!

Features, Advantages & Benefits

To understand how your product or service features create a benefit for the customer, you can add another step into the process – “advantages”. To expand on this concept, allow me to explain how you gain a benefit from a couple of the features our services offer by showing how the feature creates an advantage and a real benefit for the customer.

Feature #1: Search Engine Optimisation

Most people looking for a web designer don’t know or care what “SEO” means but they care very much about their return on their investment in a website. Without good SEO, their website won’t rank well on Google, won’t attract many customers and therefore, they will get few sales from their website. The feature, advantage and benefit is: SEO = More Visitors = More Sales

Feature #2: Responsive Web Design

Likewise, many people think that as long as they can see their website on a mobile phone, it must be ok. However, without a website that is built using responsive web design, it will be too small to read, difficult or impossible to use and drive customers away to their competitors. With the number of people using smartphones growing at such a fast pace, this would be a disaster. The feature, advantage and benefit is: Responsive Web Design = Happier Viewers = More Sales

Try not to ever mention a feature without explaining the benefits. If you can understand how you can really benefit your customer by understanding their problems, fears, needs and wants, you can build better relationships and allow people to buy instead of hard selling.


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