Selling the sizzle, giving away the steak

I think the very first sales aphorism I remember is “Sell the sizzle, not the steak”.  That sales instructor explained that people buy benefits, not products, and that a good sales person always stresses how his/her product will solve a problem, be it by eliminating pain or inducing pleasure – the  Sizzle.

Yesterday, I was rather shocked to get a phone call from an out of town sales lead who wanted a relocation package – you know, a folder of interesting printed information, maps, brocures, coupons, etc. about the Memphis area.  Well, if your company does not have a relocation department, they are were a pain to put together, cost a lot to ship, and generally did not result in any business.  I think many students order them to research their geography projects.  So I stopped using them over a year ago, offering links to virtually everything Memphis.  I can understand the tactile gratification of holding  a lot of printed material in your hands, but my prospects seem quite happy researching for themselves online.  As it turned out, this person had no concept of searching online, and hopefully, the .pdfs I sent were helpful.

That type of customer is very rare these days.  Most new customers come to me knowing as much as or more than I do about the macro and micro aspects of this market.  They have found the steak, eaten it, and now are looking for someone for some after-dinner talk.  And that’s Sizzle 2.0.

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