Who would you send into battle first?

By Liz · Filed in Marketing - General

Today I heard the following story … I am told it is true (but who knows?).

The key thing that this story demonstrates (highly effectively) is the value of marketing the benefits of your products and services to people over simply marketing features.

You know, features are things like “the car has tinted windows …”. People do not buy features they buy benefits. So, the benefit might be “… so you are protected from skin and eye damage from the sun.” Now that, I might buy!

OK, so the story goes that when new recruits join the US army they are offered life insurance. Now, mostly these are pumped up 18 year olds who believe they are invincible. So, this is NOT an easy sell! And, in fact, on average only about 10% of recruits take up the offer.

However, one Captain consistently achieved an astonishing, near 100%, sales record from his groups of new recruits. So, one day, one of the senior officers stood at the back and listened to what he said …

He explained that the recruits could get life insurance if they wanted to. It was optional. If they did choose to get it, then their beneficiaries would get $200,000 if they were killed and if they did NOT get it, their beneficiaries would only get $6,000.

OK, so that told them all of the features. Now he hit them with a potential benefit … he said “Now, which bunch do you think they will send in to battle first?”

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