Features, Schmeatures: Just Tell Me ‘WIIFM’

Why do microwave ovens come with so many settings and buttons? Who really wants to stand there and figure out which setting to use and then press a series of buttons? We just want to heat up our food.

According to an article on SmashingMagazine.com, product designers think consumers really love all the bells and whistles on their products.

But the truth is that people generally just want stuff that works, is simple to set up and operate, and gets the job done quickly. The less time a user spends using something – be it a tool, an appliance, a service, or a website – the happier he or she is.

Many products are loaded with arcane, complicated features that users don’t care about and will never use. What consumers do care about is results. And while designers need to focus more on removing complexity from their offerings, marketers and sales professionals should be making better efforts to translate features into results (i.e., benefits) for would-be purchasers.

Too often marketers and sales professionals assume that people understand how features translate into benefits and how a product or service leads to a result that matters to them, whether that’s convenience, functionality, ease of use, cost savings, or something else. However, a stated benefit answers the eternal what’s-in-it-for-me (WIIFM) question, giving consumers a real reason to buy.

When you try to sell complicated features of your product or service, you’re making the customers do the work of figuring out why they want and need it: just tell us WIIFM, and we’ll buy it.

NextVision Sales Institute

Want to learn more about how NextVision Sales Institute can help your sales professionals distinguish between features and benefits and match benefits (WIIFM) to client’s needs? Visit us at www.NV-SI.com or email us at info@nv-si.com.

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