Sell The Sizzle Not The Steak

It is a sad truth to face, especially when we have worked so hard on getting trained, educated, and experienced. But, most of our prospects don’t really care what we do, where we got our training or degrees, or what tools we use.

At least not at first. First, they want to know what can you do for me? What problem can you solve? What new idea can you bring? Their primary concern is some version of “When will I stop hurting?” or “When will I start getting more of what I want?”

Our local cable company is airing their ad that focuses on the power of sizzle…showing the benefits the customer will get from what you will do. It is designed to attract local businesses from radio ads to cable ads in their market. The ads are clever…first they air an ad for a product, and then show a video in living color for the same product. So, instead of just hearing about new kayaks and white water adventures, you see the shiny kayaks and excited passengers shooting the rapids. The description of the puppies for sale on the radio ad pales in comparison of several little, cuddly, licking critters in children’s laps.

It’s the sizzle. The emotions. The feelings. The pain or the desire that the prospect comes to you for.

Not where you went to school, how many articles you’ve written, what TV shows you’ve been on. (Okay, Oprah still has tons of sizzle…use it if you have been there. I’ve gotten clients only because I’ve been on that show. They go nuts when I tell them I was asked back. Go figure, she has more of a draw than I do!)

For the most part, your marketing needs to focus on what you can do for your clients, not what you’ve done in your past.

Check out the sizzle factor in your own marketing materials with the classic exercise Randy Gage laid on a group of seasoned 1Person Business owners one day:

Collect all your marketing materials, including your web copy, as well as two highlighting pens, one yellow and one orange.

Give yourself a quiet time and start highlighting in orange all the copy that is about you. What you do, where you got trained or went to school, how many years of experience doing what you do, or comments like “we use the latest in industry technology.”

Next, go back over that same copy of your material and highlight in yellow everything that references what the clients will get, what problems you solve, what results they can expect.

“Your sales cycle will shorten as you increase sales.” “Employees will all be on the same path.” “Your relaxed muscles and tendons will sigh with gratitude.” You get the idea. Highlight in yellow the phrases and sentences about them.

Virtually everyone in the room that day Randy did the exercise, including yours truly, was shocked and appalled by how much more we had in our materials about us than about our clients.

You know what’s next: Change your marketing materials to be more client centered than you centered.

You won’t regret it. It will be energy well spent.