If you’re in sales, I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “sell the sizzle.” So what if bacon was the product you were selling?
People love bacon. In fact, it’s so adored that manufacturers offer bacon-flavored gumballs, lip balm, soap, and even dental floss. If people love bacon that much, wouldn’t it make sense to actually focus on selling the bacon? The same goes for whatever product or service you are selling.
Don’t Believe the Hype
These days, people can see right through the sizzle, and will not go ahead with using you, your product, or your service solely because of the hype. Consumers are savvier than that. In this economy, you must sell the meat of what it is you have to offer: whatever benefits the customer, whatever they desire most.
Instead of hype, you should focus instead on the hot buttons, which are the benefits of the product or service you offer. Sizzle might attract someone initially, but if the meat is bad, someone is getting sick! So it is important to sell with a look towards retention and referrals.
Find out what the hot buttons are for each client. Ask them what they have now, and their likes and dislikes about it. Then you can build real value into your offer, and match the right product or service to their needs.
Sizzle will Fizzle
“Sell the sizzle” is an old-school sales phrase that is not truly in the best interest of client. Why not offer something of value rather than try to gain by promoting something the client may never need, use, or want?
As an example, when Honda came out with a new car model, the Honda Fit, they promoted the cool features of how versatile the interior was. Since I live on the beach, I recall seeing a picture of the Fit with a surfboard inside of the car, to show just how much room it had. But one day when I was the keynote speaker for the Norvax Success & Marketing Tour, a salesperson in attendance told me this story:
Out of curiosity, and thinking it may suit his needs, he went to check out the Fit. When he got to the Honda dealership, the salesperson excitedly folded down the seats and actually told him he could fit a surfboard in there, like the picture showed.
The problem? Well, the potential buyer lived in the state of Kansas, where the only surfing anyone would be doing is surfing the web! To top it off, this potential buyer was in his late 60’s. Would stuffing a surfboard in his car appeal to him? Of course not.
Our curious buyer asked the overeager salesperson if he surfed (in Kansas) and if so, where. This sent the salesperson from the state of Kansas to a state of confusion! He had no response other than an embarrassed stammer, but then the “potential buyer” reassured him that he was only joking.
Trim the Fat
The point is that the Honda salesperson was selling the sizzle, but that didn’t appeal to the buyer, and why would it? Even if the buyer got caught up initially in the hype of having room for a surfboard that excitement would soon be replaced by the reality of “but I don’t surf”
The Honda salesperson should have asked if the buyer went hiking/camping/fishing (activities they actually do in Kansas). That way, he could build value in how the roominess of the Fit could benefit the specific buyer’s needs and wants.
Tailor your offer to the client’s buying desires. Ask what they want, and what they like. Then, provide the solution. And if the meat is enticingly delicious, then the sizzle and aroma are just those extra bells and whistles that get us excited about devouring the bacon.
Now that’s what I call selling the bacon!