To be successful selling products and services to customers, you need to understand the difference between a feature and an advantage.
A feature is a property of a property of service. A product may come in red, green, blue or orange. The service may be delivered morning, noon or night. Those characteristics are features of the product.
As a product or service developer, you may be competing with a dozen products and they may have hundreds of features. Adding any or all of those features to your offering may deliver no value at all to your customers. So you need to figure out which features do matter to your target market and what advantages those customers see in those features.
You can then modify your product to deliver those advantages using the minimum number of features required, and sell your product not on a feature by feature comparison but on the basis of the advantages you actually deliver.
Some of the most elegant and widely used products and services have very few features and all kinds of advantages.
Google, for example, just lets you search a database of websites with a keyword. It’s listings are fairly simple and its algorithms aren’t overly complex. But people go to that site billions of times a day and Google Inc has grown from a dorm room startup into one of the largest companies on earth in under two decades because that simple product was so very advantagous to its customers.
The iPod doesn’t have a CD changer, a transistor radio or a cassette tape player built in, but it does hold more than a thousand songs and you can get access to millions songs via the internet.
Customers buy products and services based on the advantages they offer, so focus on delivering advantages to your customers and market your products based on those advantages.