Communicate Effectively

Features, Advantages, Benefits. For many of us who have been involved in sales, this describes what we do daily. We FAB the product. For those who are not in sales, this may be a foreign concept. No matter what your profession, when it comes to the job search, the resume and the interview, even the most accomplished sales professionals seem to forget. If you’re looking to make a career move, please take note: People buy Benefits. They do not buy Features or Advantages. This includes the people who are considering hiring you for that position you just applied for.

What is the difference between a Feature an Advantage and a Benefit? A Feature describes the product. An Advantage tells us what the product does. A Benefit tells us what we gain from the Features and Advantages. Let’s look for example at a laptop computer.

  • Feature = Small, Lightweight, Portable.
  • Advantage = Able to carry with you. Access to information anytime, anywhere.
  • Benefit = Makes you more productive, which equates to $$$

Another product we have all become familiar with is the backup camera on a car.

  • Feature = Clear picture of what is behind your car when in reverse
  • Advantage = Fewer accidents
  • Benefits = Saves money in repair and insurance costs.

Again, Features describe the product or service. Advantages tell us what the product or service does for us and Benefits tell us how we profit using the product or service.

People (and organizations) buy BENEFITS.
Not Features or Advantages.

Now get your resume out and read through it. My guess is it is full of a lot of Features, a few Advantages and no Benefits. Now, picture those who are reading and sorting through resumes. They are ultimately looking to “buy” benefits. But, they are reading hundreds of resumes filled with Features and Advantages. You need to distinguish yourself from the masses.

Whether someone is reading your resume or interviewing you face-to-face, you have to connect the dots for them. Do not assume that, when you give them a Feature or an Advantage of yourself, they will make the leap to figure out the benefit. You must lead them all the way down the path and connect all the dots.

Ultimately, your career move is about selling yourself. I have coached clients who have told me, “I am not going to be a sales person in an interview. That makes me cheap.” My answer is always the same. “This is not about being a salesperson or some cheesy sales pitch. This is about effective communication and delivering your value statement in a way that resonates with the person you are delivering it to whether through your resume or in person.”

Think about your last interview. Get your resume out and look through it. Spend some time converting those Features and Advantages into Benefit statements. Show the reader or tell your audience what the Benefit is going to be. Don’t assume they will figure it out.

Need help? Don’t hesitate to reach out.

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