Better Proposals – Features as Benefits

creating prototypes

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Welcome to another episode of Silence in Golden where Troy and Simon give away invaluable tips for your business.

Today our main topic is how to improve your proposals and increase your selling power by describing features as benefits. Because let's face it, the client doesn't care or know what a plugin is, but they do care about what it will do for them.

We also bring you the latest WordPress news and discuss what to do if a potential client asks you for a payment plan. 

Watch the Video

The Sidebar


iThemes Acquired by Liquid Web

iThemes has been in partnership with the hosting company Liquid Web for the past two years, but they will now combine forces to go all in on the WordPress space. Find out more in this article.

Taking Over a WordPress Website: The Ultimate Checklist

Taking over a WordPress website is a bit more complicated than just getting the username and password. This is a super useful checklist written by Elegant Themes.

WooCommerce 3.3 Recall

WooCommerce 3.3 included a redesigned Orders screen as well as some image sizing improvements. However, they made some theme compatibility improvements which have had a few issues, so they have had to recall version 3.3 and they’re not marking it as stable until they have sorted out these issues.

Hot Tip!

Don’t upgrade until a month or two after the release of a point version. And never update plugins on live environments.

Robot Ninja

Simon has discovered a new shiny object! (We think he may have a problem!) Robot Ninja provides automated checkout testing for your WooCommerce store. You can do tests daily or weekly and it will alert you if something fails. It’s free for one site so it is definitely worth a try.

Website Push Notifications

Website Push Notifications make Simon mad! No, he wouldn’t like this website to send notifications to his browser! We would love to hear if anyone has ever made this work for them because most people just see them as a nuisance. (Simon's language was a little more.. um.. colourful than this though.) If you find a blog post on this, let us know!


Joshua Howell from the Web Geek contacted Simon through the week with the question: He followed up a client after sending a proposal. The client hadn’t read the proposal and told him that they don't have that kind of money so she then asked for a payment plan. What should you do when a client asks this?

Simon says that the problem here is actually that the client said that they don’t have that kind of money – not the fact that they have requested a payment plan. They haven’t connected the dots between the cost and the benefits and they can't see that the benefits will far outweigh the cost.

You need to get onto this early before you send the proposal. The Go Wide and Go Deep meeting method which we covered in last week’s episode will really help here.

You need to qualify your client's budget before you write the proposal as the client is essentially asking us to invest our time for less money into their business. The simple answer to the client should be “I’m sorry but that just is not enough money to get what you want to be done properly”

If they have no idea about cost and budget then tell them an idea of what your websites would typically cost. Get this conversation happening before anything else! Make sure they aren’t just price shopping. Ask them if they have a budget set aside for a website and if not, get them to go away, crunch the numbers and then come back to you once they’ve allocated the money.

The Content

Features as Benefits

Phrasing features as benefits is a small but powerful thing you can do to improve your proposals.

So for example, instead of saying “page builder” in your proposal, ask yourself “how does the client benefit from that?” and write the benefit instead.

The benefit is the result or outcome of the feature. Here is a picture example of the difference between feature vs benefit.

Some great articles that Simon has found for us are:

Features Tell but Benefits Sell

Features vs. Benefits: What's the Difference and Why it Matters

101 Examples of Features vs. Benefits

By explaining the benefits, it also removes a lot of the tech talk that the client won’t understand. They only need to know why they need the feature and what the result will be. This increases the chances of them approving it so… speak their language!

If you record your initial meeting with them where they tell you what they want from the website, then just use the exact language that they used as this is more likely to resonate with them. This is just a simple communication method – listening and mirroring.

Example of Changing a Feature to a Benefit

If the client wants an e-commerce store:
The online store will help you make more margin.

If they tell you that other systems have made it hard for them in the past to update products, then you would also add:

…and will be really easy to update and manage products.

Tool of the Week: The Proposal Template

If you haven't already downloaded the awesome proposal template, then do it today and get cracking on your awesome proposals!

Simon's Shiny New Object

Zeplin is an amazing tool for design to development handover. Similar to ProjectHuddle, it allows you to make comments directly on the design. However, it has CSS, colours, measurements and it takes the design straight from Sketch. 

That's it for this week's episode. Let us know if you have any features that you would like to know how to turn into a benefit!

See you next week, same time, same place, same Bat Channel.

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Troy Dean

I am the Founder of Agency Mavericks. The reason I get out of bed every day is because I love helping people to grow their web design or digital marketing businesses. I do this through coaching, creating courses, speaking, consulting and heading up our awesome community.

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