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Features vs Benefits

Sales are not evil. A sale is a voluntary transaction to receive value. The more you can sell, the more value you can provide the world.

But to sell value, you have to make sure you are wording things correctly and focusing on benefits and not just features.

A Classic Example

A classic example is the release of the iPod. Steve Jobs said ‘it is like having 1,000 songs in your pocket’.

He didn’t focus on how many GB of data the iPod holds, how fast it reads or writes. He focused on the benefit. You can literally have all of those songs in your pocket. Done deal.

How do you phrase things?

Let’s say you are a healthcare provider. People come to you because they have shoulder pain.

If you describe to the person about all the different types of tools you use, the techniques you’re trained in, etc, they don’t really care. They want to know if you can help relieve their shoulder pain so they can reach the upper cupboard or lift weights again.

Rather than focusing on ‘hey look at all these cool techniques I use’ you should focus your messaging on ‘hey we make shoulders feel better so you can workout pain free’.

This is similar if you’re a trainer. People want to look and feel good. They want to know if you can help them achieve that. You should speak to that messaging, not focus on certifications you’ve taken. You take certifications so you can learn more to help them achieve their goals. Communicate to that person that you can help them achieve those goals, not all the things you’ve done that allows you to do that.

This Week’s Challenge

This week, your challenge is to consider the services you provide and write down the pain points people have and how you address those. Then consider your messaging on your website or how you articulate over the phone and update it to speak to the benefits.






Ryan: I’m Dr. Ryan Debell. Welcome back once again to the Health Fit Biz Podcast. This is episode number 20 and it is on Features versus Benefits and why selling is good and it’s really the ability to provide value to somebody that is voluntary. Before we get into the episode though, just a quick reminder, the Daily Domination Journal – the 28-day systematic work book design specifically for health care fitness professionals but applicable to anybody who needs to get things done, wants to do better and faster, is available for preorder at And the preorder special ends this Sunday which is December, I don’t know what it is, 9th or 10th? I think it’s 11th of 2016. So make to head over there and get a copy. Preorder to get the best price you’ll ever have on it. Without further a do, let’s listen in to episode number 20.

Ryan: Dr. Anthony Gustin, welcome back to the…

Anthony: Movement… No! It’s not Movement Fix, is it?

Ryan: This is not the Movement Fix podcast.

Anthony: I really need to get in the show on the Movement Fix podcast.

Ryan: You will be. Do you know why this isn’t? Because I use… This is a different microphone and I don’t use this microphone for the Movement Fix podcast.

Anthony: Well let’s bring my own mic? Will you require that?

Ryan: No, we’ll that on this episode though.

Anthony: Special edition. Anyway, this is the Health

Ryan: Fit

Anthony: Biz

Ryan: Ness

Anthony: Pod

Ryan: Cast. And we are going to be talking in this episode about the difference between benefits and features. This also relates very closely as you’ll see momentarily to our previous episode or future episode depending on how we’ll release this, WII FM What’s In It For Me? They’re very related but they’re also very different concepts. When you are trying to sling… Can I say sling a service? Sling a product?

Anthony: Slang.

Ryan: When you’re slinging.

Anthony: Slangin.

Ryan: Is it really slangin?

Anthony: Yeah.

Ryan: No.

Anthony: Yes it is.

Ryan: Really? Like when you’re trying to sell something?

Anthony: Yeah.

Ryan: Okay, well…

Anthony: Sling is like what you’re wearing on your arm if you had a surgery.

Ryan: Okay. Well, I’ve been saying it wrong and I’ve been looking like an idiot.

Anthony: Slangin, in it there’s an apostrophe I-N. Apostrophe. It’s not I-N-G. It’s slangin’.

Ryan: Huh. We learn some new everyday.

Anthony: Yeah it’s how it’s done.

Ryan: On the Health Fit Business Podcast. So if you are doing something like slanging…

Anthony: Slangin.

Ryan: Slangin. If you’re selling something like you do your services or product or whatever, there’s a big difference between talking about the features and talking about the benefits.

Anthony: So let’s pause for a second and back out and… There’s an anomaly here, some objection from one of the seven people listening to this podcast saying. “Well wait. I don’t wanna be selling stuff because that’s bad, that’s gross.”

Ryan: Just close your business right now then.

Anthony: Yeah. We will reiterate many many times that sales are not a bad thing. Sales are vehicle to provide value and so you need to be good at providing value which means you need to be good at selling thing which means you need to understand and master this concept we’re talking about.

Ryan: Not.. Thing in that sales are bad or trying to increase your sales, your revenue, your profits are bad is like literally the country would not exist.

Anthony: Yeah. We would not get any help for anything.

Ryan: No one would buy anything. You would never buy an iPad. You would never buy a Surface Book. You would never buy a car.

Anthony: Who would buy a Surface Book anyway?

Ryan: It’s a great product. You would never do anything. You would never get a service. You would never go to haircut.

Anthony: Sale. A sale is a voluntary transaction to obtain value. Yes, people can be deceitful with it as with anything and trick people into doing things and misleading people but that’s not generally what sales are.

Ryan: No. Sales are the lifeblood of the economy.

Anthony: Yeah. I mean, we’re gonna say it’s providing valued people. People get something out it, right? And so to be able to do that effectively you need to let people know what they’re getting out of the sale. You need to, how it will value them.

Ryan: So here’s a great example of talking about the feature versus the benefit and one of, maybe the best marketing lines ever, when the iPod was first released…

Anthony: Were we getting another quote right now?

Ryan: Do you know this that quote I’m about to say?

Anthony: No. I like your quotes.

Ryan: I like quotes so, when the iPod was first released, you know Steve Job, iPod?

Anthony: There’s an iPad. iPhone?

Ryan: Anthony, no. It’s the one that just the music. So when the iPod was first released, Steve Jobs said, “A thousand songs in your pocket.”

Anthony: Yeah. I know this one.

Ryan: You know what he didn’t say? One gigabyte of data that writes it 54 RPN. That’s a feature. No one cares.

Anthony: A tech spec.

Ryan: A tech spec. You know what people care about? What does it do for me? That’s a benefit. So rather than…

Anthony: In one thousand songs in your pocket is…

Ryan: That’s what I care about.

Anthony: Yeah. That’s so many benefits.

Ryan: Right, do I share…

Anthony: “I can have all these and blah blah blah.”

Ryan: I think Apple does a very good job with this and I think this is where other technology companies do not get is the job, is that other companies will be like, “You know this computer has you know this many gigabytes and it’s this this this this and Apple is just so good at being like…”

Anthony: It’s a retina display. It looks good.  This is 24x40X14 mb.

Ryan: Right. It’s Retina display.

Anthony: Yeah it’s good. It’s good. It’s sharper.

Ryan: It does what it needs to do. It takes, the camera takes the best photos that you’ll, you know you can take, not “It has a 14 megapixel with blah blah blah…”

Anthony: Their billboards for the camera are not you know “14 megapixel 1.8 aperture it is shot on an iPhone.”

Ryan: Exactly.

Anthony: It is a photo and a memory…

Ryan: So here’s a good example of those like saying clinical practice. They would go,”I do XYZ soft tissue treatment technique” and that’s how they market it. And you know what? People don’t care. They go, “Okay, but can you make my shoulder feel better?” Instead it should be, “We make shoulders func… you know, we make shoulders pain free. We’ll get you back at what you wanna do” They don’t, they don’t…

Anthony: Not “This.. This instrument assisted soft tissue manipulation breaks up 74% of lession than…”

Ryan: Yeah, we’re like, “You have the IFC device that  functions at this frequency” but like “Yeah! Okay! does that help my back pain?” versus, “We make backs feel great.” I think the problem is we get so hung up on being like a research based and being extremely technical that we forget what people really care about. They wanna feel good. They wanna play with their kids. They wanna go back to their sport. That’s a benefit not a feature. A feature is I do XYZ and some people wanna know the feature so we’ll have those available but you should always be promoting the benefit.

Anthony: Yeah. So for instance, the first product I launched is the pre-workout like I’ve said, “Oh it has 3 grams this, 4 grams that blah blah blah” or I can say, ”Gives you a shitload of energy so you can workout harder.”

Ryan: Yeah, if that’s what you want. I wanna workout harder. I wanna feel pumped up.

Anthony: Yeah, that’s it.

Ryan: I don’t care what it takes just make sure it’s legal and I’m gonna get nutrition.

Anthony: It promotes your health doesn’t take away from it. Like I can say it like, “It doesn’t contain this specific ingredient. That’s a filler. That’s a ball filler supplement.” It says “We’ll make you healthier.”

Ryan: Yeah. Makes me healthier. Gets me ready for my workout. Alright, I’m in.

Anthony: People can’t relate with 3 grams this, 4 grams that, has this, have that.

Ryan: People buy benefits. They don’t buy features. Right?

Anthony: I think that’s precisely correct. Yes.  

Ryan: Like the people wanna know that like, “Oh,” let’s say you train people, “Oh I do you know this specific rep scheme and we train it 74% aerobic.” People are like, “Is it gonna make me jacked or not?” If their goal is to look good with less clothing on then you gotta be, I mean you have to market it that way like you’re gonna feel better you’ve ever felt, you’re gonna look good better than you’ve ever looked cause that’s what they care about.  

Anthony: I won’t do that program.

Ryan: That actually sounds really good. Do you know what program I wanna do, Anthony? I wanna move better. I wanna feel great. I wanna improve my conditioning and I wanna look good.

Anthony: Damn. That sounds fun.

Ryan: If only those four things could only be achieved in one program.

Anthony: We should make that.

Ryan: I’m not gonna say anything else. So… An example on my workshops as how I’ve changed the way I describe it and this actually you know you really have to put yourself in the shoes of who your target is and you have to identify your avatar, your customers and that’s gonna be another episode so make sure to look for that one.

Anthony: As in James Cameron blue guys?

Ryan: I loved that. You know it was funny…

Anthony: Most overrated movie ever.

Ryan: Avatar?!

Anthony: Yes.

Ryan: No! Most underrated movie ever.

Anthony: No.

Ryan: What do you think the most underrated movie ever is?

Anthony: I would have to do some analysis. I don’t have an answer at the top of my head.

Ryan: Okay, Off the top of my head, Interstellar.

Anthony: I agree but not necessarily the most underrated movie.

Ryan: It is a highly underrated movie.

Anthony: I agree.

Ryan: People know The Martian was better than Interstellar.

Anthony: What about.. What about Bloodsport? Jean-Claude Van Damme. I’ve seen the movie maybe a hundred and eighty five times.

Ryan: I’ve never seen it.

Anthony: Most underrated movie anyway. Anyway…

Ryan: Bloodsport. Is that the you’re driving in those cars?

Anthony: No.

Ryan: Okay, yeah definitely…

Anthony: You’ve never seen Bloodsport?

Ryan: Yeah. I’ll put it in the list, Anthony.

Anthony: Oh my goodness.

Ryan: A block, I’ll do time block. So here’s the…

Anthony: #bloodsport. Somebody who loves and appreciates underrated nature of Bloodsport.

Ryan: I’ll watch it. What was I talking about?

Anthony: Features.

Ryan: Avatars!  So anyways, once you know your avatar like who you trying to sell, like who you trying to sell your product to, your service to…

Anthony: Who you’re trying to provide value to.

Ryan: Yeah, same thing. It’s synonymous. Then you can speak to those benefits that the person wants like for example you think about the pain points. Why does somebody want to learn about the shoulder? Well, I could say when I’m slangin my shoulder class, my video shoulder class I could say, “You’ll learn about the rhythm of the shoulder blade. You’ll learn about the architecture of tah dah dah dah” or I could say “Do you have a shoulder injury? Do you work with people who have shoulder injuries? Are you concerned about a shoulder injury? Do you want stronger shoulders? Then this class is for you.”

Anthony: Sold.

Ryan: Like that’ll sell… Because you know people want things but they are not always ready to commit to getting it even though they should. That’s something I think happens a lot. People are, “Oh I really want this!” and then they don’t do it for some reason. Unless they didn’t really want it.

Anthony: Lazy, huh? Do not listen to this podcast. These people do not listen to this podcast.

Ryan: Right. That’s actually something I’ve gotten better when I go, “Man, I want this. Yeah I’m gonna get it.”

Anthony: Yep.

Ryan: Because I think it’s gonna help me. So, anyways, when I frame it that way of, “You’re gonna, you know, this is what’s it’s gonna provide. This, this are the pain…” So let’s say this, say it a trainer goes, “Man, people ask me about their shoulders.” I always look at them I go, “Man I’m not really sure exactly what to do like how to figure that out.” So then what do I talk about in my points?

Anthony: Have the confidence to deal with any shoulder problem in the world.

Ryan: Yeah. Have the confidence that when someone ask you this question you have the answer.

Anthony: I want that.

Ryan: Yeah. I want the answer. I want ‘cause.. ‘cause.

Anthony: Do you want confidence to deal with shoulder problems or do you want knowledge to know how the shoulder functions?

Ryan: Yeah. Nobody wants.. You know that’s one thing that Dan Kennedy talks a lot about too. People don’t want, the benefit of a thing should never be learned. “Learn how to dah dah dah dah. Learn how to dah dah dah dah.” No, it should be “Health athletes put their shoulder program dah dah dah dah. Find the source of dah dah dah dah. Not learn the dah dah dah dah.” Nobody want to learn. People want things. So when you’re writing down like, let’s say, let’s say for example you’re writing this about your clinic and you’re trying to get the… you’re writing the.. You’re writing on your website or ad or something. Instead of saying “Learn, learn, learn, learn.” You could go “Get back to the sport that you wanna get to.”

Anthony: Whoa!

Ryan: Live your life pain free. Like what are the things that… And you know what, even the pain free might not can be that good. Play with your kids.

Anthony: Again.

Ryan: Like that’s one thing that people say to me a lot. I just wanna be able to play with my kids on the floor.

Anthony: Set new records in the gym like…

Ryan: Yeah. Set new records in the gym.

Anthony: If you’re dealing with athletes. Or work longer hours like be more comfortable at work.

Ryan: Yeah. Exactly. Whatever the, because there’s the, there’s the people want to have pain reduced but do they really want the pain reduced because it’s limiting them from doing something or could it just be the suffering of it. The point is talk about the benefits not the features because features don’t sell benefits do sell. That’s what allows you to provide value to somebody because you can the most valuable and useful thing but if you can’t word it psychologically in a way that speaks to the person that should be getting your service or your product you’re not helping as many people as you could be.

Anthony: Everyone is providing value to somebody and it’s about describing what the people can get out of it and its benefits and not what you can do. So even if you have a job you’re providing value to your managers, right? And so the challenge is to think about whatever you’re providing value people without selling them something, a membership to a gym, a visit at a clinic.

Ryan: A training program of..

Anthony: Yeah, anything or online program of whatever it maybe think about, “Am I communicating this as a benefit or as a feature?”

Ryan: And “are the benefits that I’m describing speaking to something that they either consciously or unconsciously want?” You know?

Anthony: I know.

Ryan: Does it address a pain point? Because why did people want something? Why does somebody want anything?

Anthony: ‘Because it solves the problem.

Ryan: It solves the problem. And what is the problem? It’s something that is painful in their life. So if you can figure out what that is and then speak directly to that. Now you’ve aligned what you’re offering with what they want and that’s really where you can now provide value to them because if you can’t provide value to somebody even though you have a valuable product because you don’t word it correctly…

Anthony: Yeah. You’re not providing them value. You’re not fulfilling your obligation.

Ryan: So writing and framing is extremely important so that you can actually do what you need to do so the person can get what they need.

Anthony: So figure something that you’re providing value with. Write down features. Write down benefits and focus on the benefits.  

Ryan: That’s it. So get after it.

Anthony: Get after it.

Ryan: Thank you guys for tuning in to this episode of the Health Fit Business podcast. If you found it helpful, please share with someone that you think it would also help and leave us a five-star rating on iTunes. Make sure also to go to and sign up for the email notifications to which you can find right on the homepage so that you get all the updated podcasts and blog posts sent directly to you. Until then, we will see you next time.