Several million consumers every year buy electric drills. The amazing thing about this is that none of them want a drill. That’s right. They could care less about the drill. What they want is a hole. The drill, like most products, is a means to an end. Consumers buy products to get something. In order to craft a selling message you have to understand what they want to get. You have to “sell the hole.”
What we mean by “selling the hole” is determining what the customer really hopes to gain by purchasing a product. For instance, the purchaser of an e-book on starting a home business wants to make money, to gain independence from a boss, to obtain financial security, and probably to be able to spend more time with their families..
In crafting a message for such a book, you would want to focus on how that book will help them achieve those goals.
He it means focusing on the benefits of the product rather than on its features. What's the difference? A product's features have to do with the construction of the product independent of their use. Using the drill as an example, a feature might be that the drill has a half horsepower motor. Okay, that's nice to know, but what does it mean to me the person who wants to drill a hole? The benefit of a product is how that feature will help me as a consumer achieve my goal. For instance, the reason that the half horsepower motor is important may be that it helps me drilled a hole faster and makes it possible to drill through tougher materials.
So, how do you apply this to your own marketing effort? Start by looking at the that you already have. Do they focus on features and benefits? Use a highlighter and highlight each line which specifically indicates how this product will enhance the life of the end user. What's left over? Get rid of it. Consider the following hypothetical ad for that e-book about starting a home business:
Get It Now! Grow Mushrooms in Your Own Basement! New Book Tells You How! Make Big Bucks in Dark Corners!
That's right! This book will tell you all you need to know to start a home business growing mushrooms in your basement. Learn how to choose the right soil, how to get the mushrooms to grow, what type of fertilizer to use, how to hire helpers, how to contact restaurants to sell your product, and how to contact retail grocers for sustaining business.
Don’t Delay! Get Started in the Fungus Business Today!
There is only one benefit mentioned in that entire ad. Can you spot it? That's right. "Make big bucks in dark corners". Everything else does you what the book is like but it doesn't tell you how it will help you. So, let's look at what this would look like as a benefit oriented ad.
Make big bucks in dark corners! Become your own boss growing mushrooms in your own basement!
Escape the 9-to-5 trap! Tell your boss goodbye. Learn how to get into the fascinating, profitable business of growing mushrooms. Whether portobello or button, these little veggies can pave your path to financial independence. Work your own hours. Be at home with your family. Earn a fantastic income. This book tells you how. Learn how to grow the mushrooms, how to sell them, and how to get other people to work for you!
Don’t work for THE MAN any longer than you have to! Change your future today!
The difference between these two ads is that one focuses on what the product is and the second on how the product advances the goals of the customer. So, remember, when marketing your products. Don’t sell the drill. Sell the hole.