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If you’re in the process of putting together marketing literature or sales sheets — then you’ve come to the right place.

You’ve done the hard work of putting together a product or service — and now it’s time to give your prospects and customers all the information that they will need to choose YOU instead of any other alternative.

Features – Capabilities – Benefits Defined

Before we get into the details of laying out the features, capabilities and benefits of your product, it’s a good idea to get on the same page about what distinguishes features from capabilities from benefits.

  • Features -are actual items, buttons, widgets or functions of your product and service. Features contain absolutely no emotion. They are items such as fingerprint scanners or webcams on your computer. If you’re dealing with software, a feature would be a function of the software or even a form or screen that’s part of the software. If you sell a service, then the feature of your service is a task such as window cleaning or printing.
  • Capabilities are what the features allow you to do. A computer webcam allows you to see the other party. Like features, capabilities aren’t emotional either. They simply expand on the what the feature makes possible for the user.
  • Benefits are all about emotions. Web cams allow you to see the person you’re talking to, so that you can see them smile. Benefits focus on the emotional payoff that we get by using the feature and experiencing the capabilities that it allows.

How to Use Features, Capabilities and Benefits to Build an Irresistible Offer

If you’re ready to get started, I’ve created a simple and FREE Feature and Benefit template that you can download to get you started. It isn’t pretty, but it does the trick. Let me explain the details of the spreadsheet here:

When you open the file, you’ll notice that there are two tabs at the bottom. The first tab is called “Feature-Benefit” and it contains three columns (Features, Capabilities, Benefits). All you have to do is list your features (one per row), then list the capabilities that this feature allows (you can have multiple capabilities per row). Then in the third column list all the benefits that this feature and capability provide your customer (you can have multiple capabilities per row).

The second tab is named “Customer Want Table” ?this is the feature-capabilities-benefits chart turned upside down and based on what your customer wants.

Customer wants are just that — using the voice of the customer, list all their wants (one per row). For example, “I want my pizza to show up hot at my door in 30 minutes or less.” ?Then in the second column list all the features that deliver the customer want. Using our pizza example you might say “We have 10 locations in every zip code” or “We have 100 drivers in your town”. These are all “features” that make it possible for a pizza to show up hot, at your door in 30 minutes or less.

Features-Capabilities and Benefits Build Competitive Advantage

When you take the time to list every feature that your product and service offers, match it to its capabilities and benefits and then go one step further and compare those items to the other alternatives competing for your customers’ attention — you will be amazed at the perspective that you will get.

You will find a new excitement and appreciation for your product and service that you may not have had before. Another benefit is the added perspective that your sales people and customers will get as they learn more about what customers want and where the trade-offs are for customers as they explore alternatives in the market.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE FEATURE BENEFIT TEMPLATE HERE — Not pretty – but effective.