The differences between Features and Benefits are basic to most sales training courses. Yet, even those of us who have been around for a while can benefit from being reminded of what they are and how to effectively use them.
A Feature is a fact. You can find “features” printed in the policies you sell. They are often emphasized in your marketing materials.
If you sell life insurance a death benefit is a feature. If you sell car insurance, the liability levels are a feature. If you are like me and sell health insurance, the co-pay is a feature.
Different policies have different features. That’s what sets them apart from each other.
A Benefit is what the Feature allows the insured to do. It is the result of using the Feature that is written in the policy.
People don’t buy Features. They buy Benefits. They don’t care that a life insurance policy has a death benefit. They want to know that if the insured suffers a pre-mature death an income is guaranteed to come into the household until the children have graduated from college.
Most people don’t care about having $100,000 of liability insurance. They want to know that if they fall asleep while driving and injure someone in the subsequent accident, they will be able to pay the medical bills and lost income of the innocent person they hurt and avoid lawsuits.
My clients don’t care about the doctor’s office co-pay. They want to know that if they get the flu this winter they can go to the doctor for relief without having to worry about affording the cost of a large deductible.
A good insurance agent will know both the Features and Benefits of the plans he sells. In other words, he/she will know his/her product and how to use it to meet the needs of the customer.
There are a handful of people who are able to here a list of the Features your policy has and figure out for themselves how they will benefit them. Unfortunately, people are different. As a sales person you cannot afford the luxury of assuming that your prospect fully understands how your policy will meet their needs.
It is up to you to educate your prospect on the Features of your policy and how he/she can use them to meet his/her needs.
“WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU IS…”
As a rookie agent I was taught how to use both Features and Benefits in a sales conversation. If you have never learned how to or have simply forgot, try this formula the next time a prospect gives you that blank look of confusion.
“This policy has [NAME THE FEATURE]. What that means to you is [NAME THE BENEFIT}.”
For example, “This policy has a Maximum Out Of Pocket [FEATURE]. What that means to you is that in the event of a cancer or disease you will not go bankrupt. The insurance company will pay all your medical bills after you have paid $ 7500 for the year. [BENEFIT]
Although the use of both Features and Benefits has been used by sales people for years, this concept is still a valid one.
I invite comments from agents who have used this sales technique below. We can all learn from each other.