Are You Doing Better Than Selling The Sizzle?
February 12, 2016
There is more to selling the sizzle than many appreciate
For years we’ve been told to sell the sizzle and not the sausage. In other words we should be selling benefits and not features.
But I don’t think that many of us understand benefits in terms of the customer. We tend to understand customer benefit on our own terms, and rarely look at it from a customer point of view.
So for example we will say our product product or service offers the following benefits.
Rapid turnaround, OR 30% more capacity OR perhaps increased reliability.
What about our customers’ customer?
But the reality is that in customer terms these mean very little. 30% more capacity than what, how much more reliable and how much faster is turnaround? More to the point, what impact will this have on our customer. What impact will that have on their business and more importantly on their customers?
When we talk about increased capacity and increased reliability we need to think about this in terms of, for example, reducing down time by minimum of, say 20%, which translates into a 25% cost reduction for their customers.
Or it might mean because our product or service deals effectively with peaks and troughs it will significantly enhance their reputation with their customers.
In fact if you really want to impress your customers you need to be able to say that being able to deal more effectively with peaks and troughs will enhance their reputation with a named customer. So you need to know which customers they particularly wish to enhance their reputation with. Building that customer’s name into your list of benefits is far more likely to impress the customer then talking about increased reliability or greater capacity.
When discussing the benefits of your product or service to the customer it’s important to go through this with them. If you do this for them they are not really engaging with you and you are not working with them.
Of course not all our customers have customers of their own. So we need to think about what matters to them and phrase our benefits in those terms.
Customers that see the benefits of your product or service in their terms recognise real value in your products or services and are more likely to pay a premium price. This means that you are no longer competing on price alone, because your product or service stands out as offering far superior value.
So when trying to sell to customers think about the benefits in their terms.
Are there disadvantages?
With this in mind you can also raise the disadvantages of buying low value products. You need to emphasise to your customer how important it is for them to satisfy their customer. In doing this you can highlight what happens to suppliers that supply low value product and services.
In some cases staff may get fired due to not hitting targets, or there could be PR issues when average products don’t really deliver value, and it may be that on occasion projects totally fail.
To focus your mind on the above it is worth you considering what will happen if a competitor offers the same product or service as you for 10 or even 20% less.
What compelling reasons do you have for your buyers to buy from you? What value do you offer them and their customers?
Sure many people buy on price alone, but, if you can demonstrate superior value many will fear going for cheaper options. Cheap is dangerous to reputation and job security.
To sum up, when considering the value you offer it is necessary to consider the benefits to your customer, to their customer and the consequences of your customer not purchasing your product or service.
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