In Production Land clever people design and make a product or service and then task someone with selling it. In marketing jargon, this someone first identifies the features of the product/service — the characteristics that describe it objectively — and then tries to identify the benefit each confers on a client/user — the things that turn clients/users into buyers by making them willing to spend their money.
A product with the feature of being rugged has the benefit of low replacement cost due to less breakage. A service with the feature of being consistent has the benefit of reliable or predictable outputs/outcomes. A process with the feature of being efficient has the benefit of allowing a project to be finished on schedule — usually good in itself and often a cost reducer as well. A piece of equipment that conserves fuel has the benefit of lower operating cost.
Proposal Land flips the relationship between features and benefits. First we identify what benefit the client wants — reliability, low-cost, availability, ease of use, 24/7 coverage, to name a few — and then we design a service or product or piece of equipment with the features necessary to deliver those benefits.
It takes marketers and marketing writers in Production Land a while to learn that benefits are not obvious: that they do not necessarily follow from the feature without saying. In a similar way, it takes workers in Proposal Land a while to learn that they should start with the benefits: with what the client really wants. When done correctly, it makes the marketing communication task much easier. No longer is a hapless writer trying to intuit, guess, and otherwise make up a benefit to correlate with every product/service feature: As the basis for the proposal, they just sorta jump out at you.