Features vs. Benefits: Who Wins?

Ralph Maniscalco by Ralph Maniscalco | 02.04.2013

In the security industry, we often tend to speak too much in terms of product features. We like to tout our widgets and talk about how a particular product is the first to offer such and such a feature.

Features are important – but we also need to remember that the average consumer doesn’t care nearly as much about features as they do benefits. Every feature we design into a product is there for a reason: because consumers have a specific challenge they want us to solve. So rather than talking in terms of features, we need to also remember to tell them in plain terms how those features will make their everyday jobs and lives easier.

One of our most-important product launches of 2012 is a great illustration of that concept. When we launched LYNX Touch 5100 in the spring, we made sure to call attention to a very critical industry first this product introduced: the first to offer Wi-Fi alarm communications.

Yeah, great. But how does having Wi-Fi in my self-contained unit make my life easier? We recently received feedback from some of our dealers who were among the first to gain experience with L5100. Here’s a sampling of what they had to say:

  •  “Fewer wires has literally made the difference between averaging one install per day to where we are now, which is four installs per day.”
  • “It’s a lot easier to retrofit a system when the underlying technology you need is already there.”
  • “This kind of connectivity has been talked about for a long time. With an all-in-one system, the technology isn’t just pieced together; technology features are included that work and work well together.”


Read the rest here. Language like that tends to resonate with people a lot better than simply talking specs and widgets. This all points back to a key premise of selling: It’s not enough to talk about the product – you need to also talk about your customers’ problems, and how you can help overcome them.


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  1. Sterling Donnelly 02.04.2013/3:40 pm

    We are different than most dealers since we cater to the DIY market. Therefore, we have a different perspective than the dealers in the article. The L5100 doesn’t allow us to install more system per day, since we don’t install any systems. However, the WiFi and Z-Wave functionality has made the L5100 system by far the easiest system to support when dealing with a DIY customer. Along with an LT-CABLE, anyone can install an L5100 system with our help over the phone. We have proven this concept time and time again.

    – Sterling Donnelly

  2. Ralph Maniscalco 02.05.2013/11:05 am

    Good point Sterling. In a DIY environment which as you pointed out, is a different model than the traditional dealer installed system, there are benefits but they don’t relate to time savings. It’s more of simplicity of installation experience. which is a big plus in any DIY model. Thanks for your comment.

  3. gary macpherson 03.12.2013/6:51 pm

    Mid America Security Systems here in Louisville,KY. We use the 5100 exclusively in residential. We do want, nor need, a phone line. We do however only signal with the GSM format. Why, because when the power is out you have no internet. It is working well for us and increasing our RMR.

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