Persuasion is a language art. That is, words and ideas are what persuade, more than anything else.
The problem is, we communicate without noticing if we are expressing features or benefits in our messages.
Features are what WE DO. Benefits are what THEY GET.
Typically, we are mostly talking about features – our process, the steps, the concept.
But when we add a benefit to the feature, our communication suddenly (and almost magically) becomes more persuasive.
Why? Because everyone wants to know both what something is (the feature) and why they should give a damn (the benefit).
This formula for persuasion is astoundingly simple, but mostly missed. So, to make it super-simple, we’ll start with this color-coded persuasion chart:
How you use this is simple, but subtle. When you are communicating about your professional services, both verbally or in writing, combine these feature/benefit pairs in your communication.
And use color to understand, practice, and master it. Like this:
Say what you do or how you do it and then say what the benefit or outcome of that is.
Features in Blue. Benefits in Red.
Whenever you communicate anything about your business, tie the features (at the left) to the benefits (at the right) like the below (but not generic, specific to your business):
1. We show you what to do and how you do it so you get this result.
2. Learn this process and you’ll realize this value.
3. This is what you need to do and this is why it’s worthwhile.
4. Take these simple steps to get these powerful outcomes.
5. Work on improving this and you can expect that result.
6. Apply this concept and this is what will happen.
7. Play this game and you will win this prize.
8. Invest in this opportunity in order to realize this profit.
9. Work at developing this skill if you want to win the client.
Now, take something you do, or a process that is part of what you do for your clients, and create some statements around it.
Here’s a simple example:
If you want to get a higher response every time you reach out, (benefit) communicate verbally or in writing with feature-benefit paired language. (feature)
For clarity, highlight the feature part of your idea, with blue. And the benefit part with red. (feature) This will help you speed up your ability to communicate this way naturally and easily. (benefit)
Practice by color-coding your writing (as above) and you’ll immediately see how this simple, but powerful formula works.
Remember: Features in Blue. Benefits in Red.
Someone asks about how your service works…
And now, use this formula to communicate and notice that you become more persuasive.
Hint: You need to practice this by writing many, many feature/benefit pairs. If you do this, you’ll get quite good at it and become more persuasive in your writing.
Also Note: You don’t persuade with just one feature-benefit pair. You need to build a complete argument for your case as I’ve done in this article. If you do that, you’ll build a very persuasive case for your proposition.
Then practice it out loud with a practice-partner. This will lead to more naturally persuasive verbal communication.
So, if you really want to be persuasive in your business, give this a try.
Get it? Then it will work for you!
P.S. Use the blue and red while practicing your marketing messages, not in your actual written communication as I’ve done in this article for illustration purposes.