Monday, 28 June 2010

Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak!

It's summer and everyone has the grill fired up. My husband is a vegetarian and I rarely cook meat, so I have to live vicariously through the intoxicating fragrances emanating from the yards around me. Some nights it’s all I can do not to walk up and down the street with my plate and a steak knife in hand.

Veggie burgers on the grill, while a completely satisfying meal, just don’t provide the same olfactory sensations. And these nightly temptations have prompted me to think again about the old saw “Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak.”

Whether you are selling products or services, it can be easy to forget that customers aren’t interested in the details of what you are offering; they are interested in what it means to them.

People are not interested in insurance; they are interested in the peace of mind that comes from having insurance when they need it. People aren’t interested in consulting services; they are interested in a competitive edge that comes from an expert’s advice and support. And they aren’t interested in a piece of cold raw meat, sitting on a Styrofoam plate, wrapped in plastic.

What appeals to people is the primal satisfaction of a perfectly-cooked choice cut of beef, washed down with a nice Cabernet, a beer or an iced tea, plated with a baked potato and some grilled asparagus, enjoyed with family and friends, to celebrate a special occasion or no occasion at all, in the backyard, the neighborhood dive or a fancy steakhouse.

In my neighborhood, it’s not the steak that’s driving me crazy, it’s the sizzle.

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