It’s not easy to build a home based business successfully these days. There are many “external” factors like the economy, the competition from other legitimate home businesses, the competition from bottom-feeders trying to pass their gifting programs and other scams as “legitimate” income opportunities.

By “external” I mean factors you have no control over. But there are also many “internal” factors that keep people from succeeding, and you have control over them. Most of those have to do with marketing mistakes and communication boo-boos. With proper training, those can be fixed.

Laurel (my wife and business partner) and I have been “connected” together and separately to MLM, Network Marketing, Direct Sales or the Home Based Business industry for a long time, either as customers, business builders, or trainers.

One thing we’ve noticed during all these years of connectedness to the home based business industry is that few people actually experience success (as in making a yearly six-figure income). There are, as pointed out earlier, many reasons for that sad fact (i.e. external and internal factors).

In regards to “fixable” factors, we’ve observed quite a few lethal mistakes being made by at-home business builders over the years, and one that stands out like a sunflower in a field of daisies is focusing their approach and marketing material on the wrong information. I will now share two TIPPPS™ (Thoughts Ideas Principles & Practices for Professional Success) that can eradicate this mistake.

Here’s the first TIPPPS™: Benefits! Benefits! Benefits!

One of the 88 TIPPPS™ in my book Milk & Cookies for Success is “If they’re not buying what you’re selling maybe you don’t have a good enough S.O.B.!” Before you start thinking that I’m using foul language, here’s the follow-up to that statement: “As a home business marketer, you have a much better chance of success if you use a compelling Statement Of Benefits (S.O.B.) that clearly tells your potential distributor what is in it for him if he joins your home based business opportunity.”

S.O.B… not S.O.F (Statement Of Features)! Benefits galore, and features ignore!

The problem is that most marketers don’t know the difference between the two. Let me shed some light on this. A feature is what something IS or HAS while a benefit is what something DOES. And even better if you can express that in terms of what that thing does FOR me, the “buyer”.

Example. This lawnmower has a 28-inch blade (feature – so what? Who cares?). It means you can mow your lawn is less time (generic benefit)… and you can use the saved time to do things you would much rather be doing… like fishing, golfing, gardening (personal benefit).

Which one of the following two approaches do you think has a better chance of enticing Bob (who’s eying a big Toro in the store) to pull out his credit card?:
“Good day sir. That baby’s got a 28 inch blade, you know?” (Bob thinking: “Who cares?”)
“Good day sir. That baby will cut your mowing time in half. Now what could you do with that extra time?” (Bob dreaming: “I could go fishing, play golf, or detail my sports car…”)

Bottom line is this: most people don’t care about the “details” (the features) until they see the “big picture” (the benefits) clearly in their head. It is crucial to your home business success that you internalize this and apply it to ALL your marketing endeavors, online or offline: Benefits galore, and features ignore! The sooner you’ve accepted this basic truism of marketing, the sooner you can use it to become more effective and persuasive in your communication.

Now we need to add one bit of important information to this “Benefits!” TIPPPS™: WHAT benefits should you focus on? Should they be based on what people actually want, or on what they need? Or on what YOU think they want, or need? The answer is contained in the second TIPPPS™.

TIPPPS™ #2 (courtesy of Robert J. Ringer): “The simplest, safest approach to financial success is to make it a habit to sell people what they WANT, NOT what they need, NOT what they THINK they need, and especially NOT what YOU think they need.”

As a home based business builder, you’re making a disastrous mistake if you’re trying to sell people what YOU think they need. Here is Robert J. Ringer once again:

“People want to smell better, look better, feel better, be more sensual, work less, make more money, play more. The fact is that people don't need beer, cigarettes or thousand calories triple burgers. And they don't need pick-up trucks that go from zero to 100 miles per hour in five seconds. Try to sell people what they need (vitamins, education, insurance), and you're liable to end up in bankruptcy court.

Now, if you try to sell people what YOU think they need, you might also go broke in the process. The problem with selling people what YOU think they need – even if they really need it – is that it takes too long and costs too much to educate them, i.e., to convince them that they need your product or service. The simplest, safest approach to financial success is to be an accommodating free-enterpriser and make it a habit to sell people what they want.”

Been there, done that! A few years back, I was very involved in a home based business opportunity that marketed fantastic health supplements. Great stuff! But I almost lost my marbles and all of my savings trying to “educate and convince” people that they needed those supplements to stay healthy and live long. The only person who got an education was me.

I got that education partly from my failure to make headway with my supplement business, partly from watching a good friend of mine making a fortune selling video-games (aka something people “want”).

Then I came across the text above by Mr. Ringer. One part of the sentence was flashing in my head like a neon sign on Times Square: “People want to… make money.” Following that enlightenment, I put aside ALL my literature about the products and focused solely on showing people how they could make money with my business-income opportunity… money they could spend on video-games, big-screen TVs, and pick-up trucks that go real fast.

As a result of that change of approach, my home business took off like a Ferrari on steroids!

In conclusion, focus your marketing on benefits your prospects want, not need, and certainly not on benefits that YOU think they need – even if you know for a fact they do indeed need them. Those are wise words of advice you can take straight to the bank.

I hope the “knowledge” you gleaned from this article will be helpful. Remember though that knowledge is power ONLY when it’s combined with ACTION! If you think the TIPPPS™ above are valuable, DO something with them, and seek out more of them.

Daniel G. St-Jean
BizzBooster, and The Sparkplug of Personal Development
Author of 7 Simple Keys To Spark Change In Your Life Now!
Co-author of 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life – volume 2

Author's Bio: 

Daniel G. St-Jean is half of The BizzBoosters Inc. He and his partner Laurel Simmons have produced a powerful new Special Report entitled Discover How You Can Easily Avoid the Biggest Marketing Mistake Made by 97% of Businesspeople—Even Gurus—That’s Costing Them Thousands of Customers and Millions in Sales! Go get your complimentary copy NOW at