Australian Business Coaching Club Newsletter - Selling the Sizzle

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Selling the Sizzle

Many years ago we lived in Darwin. Darwin has no winter, just hot and hotter (and wetter). One day during the hot season, there was a record low of 15C early morning. The headline in the paper was “Darwin Freezes”.

I heard a talk radio host describing her experience taking her son to school that morning. Given the ‘coldness’ of the morning, this woman naturally turned on the car heater. Her son, who had lived in Darwin all his life, was surprised, because he never knew that cars had heaters as well as air conditioners.

Clearly car salesmen in Darwin do not dwell on the effectiveness of heaters but will tell a buyer how quickly the air conditioner will cool a car that has been left in the sun. Window tinting is almost universally chosen as an option there as well, unsurprisingly.

Often when making a sale, the salesperson can get too wrapped up in the features, rather than focusing on the benefits. There is an old saying in marketing, ‘Features Tell, Benefits Sell’ which is why the car salesperson in Darwin when speaking about the air conditioner will describe how quickly it will cool down a hot car and not focus on all of the controls (which include the heater which is almost never used).

Often there is confusion between Features and Benefits. For example, a restaurant may have 100 tables – a feature. The business might want to promote that fact, but may be unsure what the benefit might be, but by repeatedly asking the question “So what?” it is possible to determine the ultimate benefit for that feature. The benefit for the customer for the restaurant with 100 tables is that you never have to book. If you are unable to come up with a benefit for a feature (eg a car heater in Darwin) there is no point in mentioning the feature in the sales process. Stick with features that have clear benefits.

At that point you will be ready to sell the sizzle rather than the steak, as it is the odour of the cooking steak that makes you feel hungry and ready to buy.

All you need to do now is to Empower yourself and take action ...

Have a great week!

Dr Greg Chapman - The Business Brain Surgeon
The Australian Business Coaching Club