Work Winning : ‘Feature-Benefit’ statements to be more persuasive.

Including ‘Feature-Benefit’ statements in your bid responses – whether a general bid or in response to specific questions - is one of the easiest ways to score higher marks and win more work … or just to be more persuasive generally. This short blog tells you what a 'Feature-Benefit' statement is and how to write them.

What is a ‘Feature-Benefit’ statement ?

A ‘Feature-Benefit’ statement is one that links a ‘Feature’ of your bid to an advantage that is of ‘Benefit’ to the person or party you are trying to persuade.

Why should I do this ?

Just doing this with the same Features that you would mention anyway makes you more persuasive. In fact, research has shown that just using the word ‘because’ makes you more persuasive, because people seem programmed to act on a reason. Use of the word ‘because’ seems to blind people to a rubbish reason ! But if the the reason is of genuine Benefit to them, then you will be even more persuasive and convincing.

So think more deeply about what is of Benefit to the other party, which means that you are more likely to

  • not mention Features which do not deliver Benefit so that your proposals are more succinct and likely to be read;
  • identify advantages that are of genuine and specific Benefit to them, so you make a better impression.                                Top tip : where possible and known, use the words they would use to to express the Benefit, not the words you would use, as this will resonate with their subconscious thus creating more emotional ‘buy-in’. In fact, thinking about it from their perspective will probably mean you construct a much better solution for the person or party you are trying to help, which might well be the biggest Benefit of this technique.

Along with actually answering the question and ticking all the scoring criteria, my experience is that using ‘Feature-Benefit’ statements is one of the easiest ways to dramatically improve your scores on a bid or proposal.

How do I link the Feature to the Benefit to be persuasive ?

You use link words like ‘to’ , ‘which means’ , ‘so that’ , ‘then’ , ‘as this’ , ‘thus’ ‘and’  ‘because’ to be more persuasive.

Alternatively, just explain a Feature in one sentence and then give the Benefit in the next. That creates variety in the writing style.

Or, to GRAB ATTENTION, give the Benefit followed by the Feature, separated by a comma.

Where else could I use ‘Feature-Benefit’ statements to be more persuasive ?

Anywhere ! Even in dry technical documents, including the Benefit of following each stage, makes it more likely people will follow the instruction. A great way to practice them is with kids : I do with my 4 and 7 year old – cute picture of them to the right - which helps me to get them to do what I want (some of the time).

By the way, were you aware that including pictures alongside some text makes it more memorable ?

Or that phrasing statements as questions also aids retention ?

Practice makes perfect

To become more proficient at ‘Feature-Benefit’ statements, go through this blog identifying any that I have used.

You could also identify areas in your life where you would like to be more persuasive and then write-out some ‘Feature-Benefit’ sentences which you could use in these areas.

Imagine the results if you did this as a matter of habit … … ?

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