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Mark -- it is easy to get excited about our product and service and forget how the customer will be seeing it, and us.

Joe -- that is the world according to us. What does our customer see? What do they feel?

Jay -- yes, let's get us all in the conversation and then we can take a look at the product and service. As you point out, there are many free things people do not want, even at that price.

Grasping the feature/benefit distinction was a recent personal challenge. After a half-dozen years as a newspaper feature writer (there's a tell) the shift to concentrating on benefits took plenty of effort. Once you push past that threshold, however, recognizing benefits becomes easy -- though you still need the features as your point of departure. Clients often show up excited about the products or services they want to market -- and are incredibly proud of their features. Getting them to see through the eyes of their customers, and understand the impact benefit-based messaging has is always a cathartic moment. Using "free" as a point of departure works well. Hell, traffic jams, headaches, and visiting in-laws are all "free", but that's never helped sell me on wanting more.

Appears this is where the "there is no free lunch" saying comes from. I hear 'free' and my bias is, "No, not free. I am giving up time, effort, opportunity...something...for...?"

When we have our client's best interest at heart...when our intention is to be of assistance in solving their problems and making their dreams come true, our product/service becomes a benefit.

Clients pay for value - possibly the explanation for a resurgence of luxury brands. The profit-minded part of me says, "Hey, we can charge for a benefit!"

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