When I was a kid I used to love to play with mirrors.
I'd grab a handheld mirror and hold it up to the big mirror in the bathroom and—
The reflections were endlessly “nested” one inside the other, seemingly to infinity.
Mirrors within mirrors within mirrors!
And so it is with the benefits of your product or service.
There's never just ONE benefit for any given feature.
Instead there's a benefit…
And a benefit behind the benefit…
And a benefit behind the benefit behind the benefit.
Often the farther down this rabbit hole you go, the more emotionally compelling the benefits get.
Going back to the example of the stapler from the last couple of days:
Recall that the stapler has a rubber pad on the bottom (FEATURE).
The rubber pad keeps the stapler from sliding around on my desk (BENEFIT).
This is a “surface level” benefit. Usually these benefits are the first thing that spring to mind when you notice a particular feature.
To get at the “benefit behind the benefit,” try adding the phrase, “which means that”:
Because of the <feature>, I can <surface level benefit>, which means that <deeper benefit>.
Because of the rubber pad on the bottom of this stapler, I can use the stapler without it slipping around on my desk, which means that my staples will always be perfectly aligned.
Now you can go crazy with this, and keep tacking “which means that” onto the end of this to get to deeper and deeper levels of benefits:
Because of the rubber pad on the bottom of this stapler, I can use the stapler without it slipping around on my desk, which means that my staples will always be perfectly aligned, which means I won't look sloppy to clients when I hand out my PowerPoint decks, which means that I'll land more accounts, which means I'll get the promotion I've been working towards, which means I'll be able to afford my kid's college tuition next fall…
You don't always want to dig that deep—it can get a little silly if you're trying to write an email to sell a stapler and you start talking about how it'll pay for their kid's diploma. (Then again, maybe it WOULD work…)
You WILL almost always want to dig below the surface-level benefits thought—to understand not just WHAT the feature does but WHY your customer cares.
As you can see, when you list out all the FEATURES your product has…
Then write down all the surface-level benefits…
And as many hidden benefits as you can think of…
You're going to have a LOT of raw material at your disposal.
We're still not done.
There's one more way to add to your list of benefits—and it's CRITICAL that you don't overlook this one.
I'll explain tomorrow.
This article is Part 3 on finding the benefits of a product. Read the rest here: