Feature versus Benefit

By | Jan.10.11 | Daily Dispatch, Marketing & Business Development

Knowing the difference between a feature and a benefit when describing your practice can help you improve your marketing success. There’s a simple way to understand it.

Think of a typical pencil. Features would include that it’s yellow and has six sides, a graphite core and a rubber tip. Benefits might be that it’s easily seen in a drawer, it doesn’t roll off the desk, you can write while holding it at any angle, and you can quickly erase what you have written.

In describing their practices, lawyers tend to dwell on the features without emphasizing the benefits of those features to the listener. It’s the difference between saying what you are versus what you do. For example:

  • “I am a civil litigator” vs. “I help protect your rights in court.”
  • “I’m a corporate lawyer” vs. “I help companies comply with and take advantage of state and federal legal rules.”

Putting emphasis on the benefit is important in forming your message, however it is communicated. That includes everything from the elevator speech you use to introduce yourself, to the keywords you choose for search engine optimization on your website.

Consider what you do to help people in your daily practice and concentrate on communicating that benefit.

Theda (“Teddy”) Snyder is an attorney and structured settlement broker with Ringler Associates. She has practiced law for 33 years, including 10 years as principal of her own firm. She is a frequent speaker and has written four books on law practice management, including Women Rainmakers’ Best Marketing Tips, 3rd Edition (ABA, 2010).

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