Runners don’t buy carbon fiber shank plates. They buy ultra lightweight and durable support that keeps them running, not resting an injury.

This was one of the first lessons that I learned as a 17 year-old Sales Associate working the floor in local mall. Customers buy benefits, not features.

Fast forward 18 years and I am now applying that same rule as a Product Manager meeting with VP and C-Suite level stakeholders sharing my Product Vision and Strategy.

Focus on benefits, not features.

Your organization’s CMO doesn’t care about creating a new GQL endpoint, they care about having access to new data for a specific use-case.

Sell the use-case, not the API.

While this sounds simple, I’ve learned that it’s far from being a common practice.

In fact, when was the last time that you asked a stakeholder to brainstorm good, better, best use-cases with you to determine how far off the tech is from supporting them?

While this is obviously a better way to build the right Products, think about the positive impact that this approach also has on your relationship and trust with Stakeholders.

Product Management is a lot like sales.

Stakeholders are our customers, and we sell them solutions to problems that they may or may not know that they have. The best Product Managers (and sales people) meet their Stakeholders where they are.

Do they just want to know that what you are offering solves their problem (use-case)? Boom, we’ve got you. I’ll keep the conversation high level and stick to shared-language (avoiding “tech-speak”)

Do they care about the solution but also want to understand how the product works?

We can do that to. I’ll still lead with the benefits but make sure that I connect each feature to the outcome that it creates.

TL;DR : You’ll get more buy-in from your stakeholders if you focus on the use-cases that your product enables instead of the tech that enables them.