January 18, 2017

The Highlighter Analogy

Reader Tommy C replied to a recent email (“Back to basics -> focus on outcomes” from Jan 16) with some additional perspective and an analogy that I absolutely love.

Here’s his message (lightly edited for clarity, shared with permission, bold mine):

What you are describing here is a concept of sales where you focus on the benefit and not the feature. Often time we use the features of a product to “sell” it to someone else. The folly in this is we are expecting the buyer to fill in the benefit on their own. To be effective you need to state the benefit, as it applies to the buyer. Analogy: “Here is a highlighter it has an air tight cap.” <-- Feature (this is where most people stop.) "This cap will help ensure that when you go to highlight that line of text that you just have to remember, the highlighter will work." <-- Benefit It is important to point out that in your initial conversations with the client you are building a list of features and benefits that are applicable to the proposed buyer. They will give you the answers to the test. Tommy

Yes, yes, YES!

Thanks for contributing, Tommy :-)