I woke up this morning to an email question from a reader:
I sell insurance products . I know how important having good features and benefits is — but all I can come up with is “peace of mind” — but that can be said for any insurance product. How can I come up with great features and benefits that connect with my ideal customer?
What? You have this problem too? Of course you do and I’m going to tell you a sure-fire easy way to come up with features and benefits that will get your customer to say “WOW! ?These guys really “get” me”!
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, it’s easy to let the industry define you – and then you forget why you’re in this business to begin with. So take a moment and answer these three BIG questions:
- Who are you being in the world: Don’t laugh at this one. It’s a critical differentiating factor to your business. People do business with people and companies they like who are like them. The answer to this question is a ADJECTIVE or NOUN word. For example you can be any of the following: Caring, Generous, Greedy, Friendly, Tech-savvy, Detail-oriented, Renegade, Contribution, etc. Start a short list from the top of your head that describes the character of your company and the people in it, then hit the Thesaurus and look for more powerful words. If you have a team of associates – go around and ask them as well.
- What are you committed to?? Be careful with this one. It’s easy for companies to SAY what they are committed to, but actually behave and act as if they are committed to something completely different. For example: You can say that you’re committed to healthy living — but then you might eat unhealthy food or smoke. There is what you SAY that you are committed to and what you’re really committed to. Your customers see through that and saying one thing and doing something else –?repels customers. Take a hard look at your company’s actions and see where your true commitments lie. Don’t stop just because you may not like what you see. I promise there is good stuff in there. I know this doctor who is committed to “being right and looking good” — that doesn’t sound like a good commitment does it? But the way that looks for his patients is that he is SUPER thorough. He makes sure there are no mistakes, he will make sure that HIS patients have the best outcomes. That’s a good thing.
- What can I count on you for? ?Let’s stick with the doctor example from above — I can count on this guy covering every base, turning over every stone to make sure that I walk out of his office as healthy as I can be. I can count on every McDonalds?sandwich being the same in any McDonald’s in the country. I can count on FedEx delivering it overnight. What can YOUR customers count on you for? Is it 24 hour turnaround? Is it a friendly staff? Is it the best hot dog? Don’t over think it. Just look at what you are already delivering that people can count on you for. But again, what you might find is that we can count on you for is not returning calls, being rude, creating a hassle, etc. It’s a double edged sword and if you don’t like what you see – then change it.
Profile your ideal customer
I like to call this the “Milk Carton Profile”. Your goal is to describe your customer in such a way that I would recognize them within 10 seconds of meeting them.
- What’s important to them when they are buying what I’m selling?
- What do they look like and sound like?
- What are some things they might say about products and services such as mine? What pisses them off about what I’m selling?
- What’s missing in their life when it comes to what I’m selling?
As you answer these questions — BE your ideal customer — say the things they might say in their own words. For example, if you had a housecleaning business some things your customers might say are:
- Will my house be cleaner than if I did it myself?
- Are you going to steal my stuff?
- Are you going to break my stuff?
- Will you show up on time?
See how that works?
Need some help in figuring out what matters to your ideal customer? Head over to a book store and go to the magazine rack — now start looking at ALL the magazines your customers might read. Take a look at the topics they cover — there you go — that’s what matters to them. Focus on THAT — and not just your product.
Create an irresistible offer
This is not just your product or service — it’s that and more. An offer includes the entire customer experience from location, to customer service, sales, support, everything. To create an irresistible offer, you have to have that list of what your customer “wants”, not the product or service or what you think they need — what they WANT. So if you’re selling shovels — your customer WANTS to dig a hole (and you can bet they aren’t looking forward to it). If you’re selling insurance, your customer WANTS – a hassle-free hospital/doctor experience. We’ve all had the experience of resolving insurance issues for months on end and working with uncooperative insurance companies. Lord knows there’s a space out there for something who can create a HAPPY hospital experience.
- Make a list of customer wants
- Match their wants with features of your product
- Create a clear BENEFIT (there are only a few benefits that people really want — security, looking good, relationships, money, health, spiritual fulfillment, career success) Check Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and link up your features with ALL of those benefits. You will bump into difficulty – but you MUST create a link with all of them.
This is hard!
It’s simple, but it isn’t easy. This is true. This process requires a lot of thinking and researching and digging inside your organization and what matters to your customers. But I promise you the process is MORE than worth it.
Take a look at any successful and profitable company and you will find that they’ve really done this work. Granted, you don’t have to do it — you can keep doing what you’re doing. But you will have to stop complaining about customers who bitch about your prices, customers who leave you for the competition and employees who are unengaged in the success of your business.
Follow the process I’ve outlined above — and I promise — your ideal customer will choose you EVERY SINGLE TIME REGARDLESS OF PRICE.
Want to put this process in action for you? ?Get your “Customer Attraction Blueprint” and start working it today!