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Selling the Sizzle, not the Steak!

Posted on 16/11/2013, 09:03

Have you ever wondered why it is that some businesses seem to have more business than they can handle, whilst others struggle by with only a few clients on a constant roller coaster of ‘Feast or Famine’? Is there some secret formula that they are keeping to themselves? The answer may be simpler than you think! In this article we are going to discover one simple habit you can begin today that could bring you all the clients you can handle and a few straight forward things you may be doing now that can actually prevent you from getting clients! Selling the Sizzle, not the Steak! I am sure that almost all of you will have walked into a shopping centre and smelled that unmistakable aroma of freshly-baked bread, or the heavenly bouquet of roasting coffee beans. You have also probably walked into a friend or neighbour’s garden for a barbecue and been bowled over by that indescribable waft of juicy steaks sizzling on the grill (sorry to all of our vegetarian readers!). We are acutely aware that it is these magical aromas that immediately compel us to go and buy that half a kilo of freshly roasted Arabica coffee or that still warm baguette. It is that unmistakable smell (and sound!) of the steaks sizzling on the grill that almost forces us to pick up a plate and join the queue at the barbecue. We would not make any of these purchasing decisions because we read a detailed 8 page brochure about the features of a baguette, or because we listened to an irritating radio advertisement extolling the virtues of a particular brand of coffee. No salesman had to bore us rigid, telling us all of the reasons why we should go and get one of those steaks from the grill. So why do we try and foist these tactics on to all of our prospects and clients, when we know that it does not work on ourselves? If you are not telling your clients about the results that your work produces and the real (and tangible) benefits they will get from working with you, then they will never see the value of it. “What’s in it for me?” is the only question that they really want the answer to, so make sure that every communication with your prospects and clients leaves them with absolutely no doubt as to what the real value is that they will achieve as a result of working with you. Telling them how you do things and why you do things may be of interest to you, but I can assure you that it is of absolutely no interest to them – so stop doing it! It’s easy to think there is some hidden secret to marketing your business or professional services. There are so many books to read, classes to take, and mentors, coaches, and consultants you could hire that it makes the process seem mysterious or overwhelming. But there is a simple answer and it’s the first of a few tips that I am going to share with you. The KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) To avoid all of the complications and complexities of marketing that some may try to persuade you to embark upon, just choose a few simple but effective things to do and do them consistently. This is the real key to successful marketing and this is how you can build your business more quickly by doing less. In marketing, many people try doing a little bit of networking, some haphazard follow-up, try to get some publicity with press releases, give a talk, pay exorbitant fees for a stand at an exhibition or trade show, place an advertisement and then write an article. Instead of spreading yourself thin with a dozen different marketing strategies, you could simply do some networking with consistent follow-up, give some talks and follow up with those you meet, and that would be it — just three strategies: networking, public speaking, and following up. Your efforts are well concentrated and you will notice that you are not as tired! Trying to do too much is one of the ways you may be sabotaging your own marketing efforts. Stop-start marketing can actually prevent you from getting clients. It wears you out running back and forth. You never spend enough energy on any one approach to really make a difference, but instead you make yourself less efficient and effective in all areas. If you limit your marketing activities to what you can realistically do well, it becomes possible to give your marketing the essential quality of consistency. Instead of just hearing from you once, people begin to hear your name over and over. They begin to think of you even when you are not in touch and they will send you referrals. But to make this happen, you have to do the work. Positive intentions alone won’t create clients – you have to put in the ‘hard yards’ to get the results you want and need. Be Persistent! If you usually rely on magic and luck to win more leads, look away now – the ‘Build it and they will come’ model really does not work! When you begin to work consistently and purposefully in a specific direction, a strange energy is created and things really start to happen. When you approach your marketing activities in a consistent way, you will begin to get results in unexpected places – the phone rings, and it’s a prospect you spoke to three months ago saying they are suddenly interested in working with you. You go to a networking meeting that seems like a complete waste of time, and run into a hot prospect in the car park on your way out — who wasn’t even there for the meeting you went to! Then, you suddenly receive a referral from someone whose name you don’t even recognise. That’s when things seem to be happening by magic and luck – as Gary Player put it so well “The more I practice, the luckier I get!” Written by Tony Ryan – Director Pro-actions London

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