How to write BENEFITS like an award winning proposal writer (me)

I promise that by reading this post, you’ll be about to get your head around the whole ‘benefits vs. features’ thing, especially when it comes to selling your WordPress websites.

“People buy benefits – not features.  Sell benefits, not features.  Sell the sizzle, not the steak.  Sell the destination not the journey”

All very trite and perhaps even true, but how can you REALLY make sure that you’re giving customers and leads BENEFITS over features.

The problem is that features, benefits and results can all become a little mixed up.  Some people might be able to see the benefit in electric windows without having it explained to them.  Other people might see electric windows on a car AS the benefit.

There’s a big myth that the features/benefits thing can be fixed with one simple quote.

Usually it’s something like – “the features of the car are the physical parts, the benefits are the things those physical parts do”.

Bigger engines with more cylinders means that car goes faster.  Is the car’s capability of going faster really a benefit?  Not really in my eyes.  The speed limit is the limit, I don’t care that it can do 140mph.


With a little research, we can discover that the FASTER a car can go, the more MPH’s it can achieve, the more reliable the engine is at mid point i.e. 70MPH.

So, all of a sudden, the car going faster has become a feature and a benefit is that the engine is more reliable.


With a little more research we can find out that a reliable engine means two things.  First – lower costs of running because it’s less likely to conk out on you.  Two – you’ll own the car longer because it can do more miles.

So now, the reliable engine is the feature and a lower running costs and longer ownership are the benefits.

So what does that all mean and how does it fit my WordPress business?

What I’m getting at is ALL features become benefits if you look at what results they deliver.  If you dig deep enough, you can find a benefit for almost anything.

When it comes to selling WP websites, we need to know WHAT THE CUSTOMER wants to ACHIEVE.

What are their goals?  What do they want to do?

Let’s look at 5 methods of creating benefits from your current WordPress websites.


1. What results does the customer want?

The single biggest mistake I see WordPress consultancies and professionals making is ASSUMING that they know what the customer wants.  Because you’re so deep in your business and the WordPress space, you forget that not everyone knows what you know.

In fact, I can prove it to you.  Look me in the eye (figuratively I guess…through the screen) and tell me that you’ve never thought that what you know is super basic and that everyone knows it.  Tell me that you’ve never thought ‘customers won’t be interested in this because they already know it’.

I GUARANTEE that you know tons more about websites and WordPress than your customers.  I promise that there are things you know about that I don’t know about.  Don’t feel you need to prove or impress anyone with your knowledge.

Customers want RESULTS not schematics.  To get those results you need to find out what they want.

During your consultation or discovery period, the customer gives you the results they want.

Try to get numbers from them – stuff like 50% increase in traffic or 10 new leads a month.  Once you’ve got numerical results that they want, you know what the benefits are.

You need to build something that offers the BENEFIT of an increase in traffic.  That’ll suit their result of a 50% increase in traffic.


I’ll even give you a list below of benefits that ALL customers want.


2. Research the potential and the options

One of my favourite moves is to do a little research on traffic numbers from Google.

I just log into Google’s free traffic prediction tool and search for a few keywords.

Keyword Planner Google AdWords rs

Check the Get search volume data and trends box

In the Search volume and data trends box, jot down a few keyword ideas that your customer might go for.  Remember to choose a location and area too, something geographic.

Keyword Planner Google AdWords rs

Note how many searches in your area are for the keywords you’ve selected


Then click Get search volume and boom! You’ve got yourself a numerical list of potential viewers on Google.

We can now say that by working with us, your site could be seen by up to 2900 people a month, just in this area.


3. Appeal to their ego –  ask “what if?”

If you’re searching for benefits to write down, or if you’re with a customer ask “What if…?”.

“What if your website had posts and pages?”

I can tell your that your customers will not care if you ask that what if question.  So try saying it out loud.  If you feel that you’d have to explain why that’s good – it’s not a benefit.

Let’s rephrase it.  “What if you had areas where you can edit and create content without paying us?”

That looks better.  We can even go one further and appeal to their ego.  We’re not being manipulative, but all customers care deeply about one part of their business.  Be it finances, their own knowledge, or the history of their business.

So lets amend our what if question.

“Because you know way more about cars than us, what if we could give you a platform to demonstrate that knowledge?  Best of all, you can edit it so you don’t need to come to us”.

That sounds pretty good to me.


4. Dig a little deeper

Occasionally, we know what we’re offering, but phrasing it as a benefit doesn’t jump out at us.

We need to dig a little deeper at what we’re offering to come up with a result or benefit.

Let’s start at the beginning.  Take responsive web design.  We need to answer the questions below to really explore the BENEFITS of responsive design

  • What does FEATURE give the website the ability to do?
  • What does FEATURE give the business?
  • What kind of numerical results could this FEATURE help with?
  • What would this FEATURE get us one step closer to?
  • What are the negative results of not having this FEATURE?
  • What does the CUSTOMER get from this FEATURE

With these kinds of questions, we can respond in kind.

  • Responsive design gives the website the ability to appear on mobile search results and look good on all devices.
  • If the website is on all devices, the business gets access to more visitors (80% of traffic is now mobile)
  • This feature could give us access to 80% of users that previously couldn’t read our site
  • Responsive web design gets us one step closer to increase in traffic to the site
  • Not having this feature could mean our search engine rankings fall because Google values sites that can be viewed on phones
  • Customers get access to all our content on their phone, tablet or screen

We can then as the SAME questions about ALL off these points.

  • If we appear on all devices and look good, and traffic get access to our content no matter what – they’re more likely to convert into a lead
  • If Google knows our site is friendly on mobile devices and people can see it is – we get an increase in traffic

I won’t drill down further, but you can see that by asking those questions, we can really explore the features and get the benefits from them.


5. Does the customer want to ask HOW or WHY if I tell them?

Here’s a great litmus test, after writing down a benefit.  Ask your customer (or anyone for that matter) and if they respond with HOW?  then it’s a good indicator that it’s a benefit.

If they respond with WHY then it’s probably a feature.

“We’re going to be creating a PayPal pro portal for your e-commerce site”

Why?  Because we need to take card or paypal details from customers.

See?  Probably a good indication that it’s a feature.

We’re going to make sure you can take payments from cards or from PayPal accounts so anyone can pay quickly and easily”

How?  Great question! We do this by creating a link with PayPal called PayPal pro.  It’ll be incorporated into the e-commerce site


BONUS! 6. Could the customer repeat what the list is?

Here’s a little trick I use.  If the customer can repeat back what your benefit list is, then they understand it.

Benefits are much easier to understand because they’re focused on what the customer gets, not what on the website or project gives.

All your customers understand the benefit of having more leads.  All of them understand the benefit of more traffic.

However, a ‘long-tail keyword focused SEO post method’ probably isn’t very exciting to them.


Customer results and benefits list

  1. Lower running and operating costs
  2. More control over content and design
  3. More traffic to the site
  4. More traffic converting into leads
  5. More leads converting into sales
  6. Higher average spend per transaction
  7. Higher average spend per customer
  8. More frequent purchases

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.