People often confuse features, primarily benefits and value. Salespeople talk about their “value proposition” and then list the features and benefits of the product they are selling. In my mind, there is a very distinct difference between the three and it is important to understand not only when selling but when building a valuable company (pun intended).

There is a straight-line relationship between the features of a product or service, the benefits the feature brings and the value it has.  Let’s start with features.

Your product or service defines the Features

Features are the things that your engineers build specifically for your product or the characteristics of your service. Services are unique and four major characteristics separate them from goods, namely intangibility, variability, inseparability, and perishability.

If highlighting features were the key to closing deals, we wouldn’t need salespeople. That can be done with a spec sheet. Features are facts.  You can see our Features here:

Your people define the Benefits

Benefits are the direct result of a feature.  They are things a customer can accomplish because of the features of your product or service, like saving money or doing things quicker. Your people determine what the benefits are whether they are salespeople presenting to a potential client or marketing people creating some collateral. A more mature company will have a handful of benefits pre-defined.  You can read about the 8 main benefits of subscribing to the Blu-J Platform here:

Your customer defines the Value

This is the big one. This is what drives people to make buying decisions. The value is unique to each consumer. It is why your product or service is important to them. It is determined by the significance of the problem you solve. The only way to know the value of your product is to get feedback from your customers.

Example 1: A Pen.

Features: Blue ink, click to display point, clip, plastic, green, smooth outside.

Benefits: You can write notes, sign contracts, and draw a picture, all with a device small enough to fit in your pocket and the ink is permanent.

Value: Blue is my lucky colour so I sign all of my contracts with my blue pen.

Why it Matters.

For business leaders, it matters because the three are linear. There is a straight-line relationship between the features, benefits, and value of a product or service. Features lead to benefits and benefits eventually lead to value.

For marketers or delivering a High Persuasive Performance, it matters because features and benefits have no emotional relevance but the value does create an emotional response and we all know people buy with emotion. It’s the reason case studies and success stories are such powerful marketing tools. They give real-life examples of the value that a product or service provides and they are always specific to that particular client.

For salespeople, it matters because the value is what brings people to a buying decision. Features and benefits are great but those can be displayed on your website, like ours The only way to find the value is through communication with the client/prospect and finding out exactly what pain your product is solving. When you focus on highlighting the value of your product to that client, you will become more successful.


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