Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak. This point became overwhelmingly clear recently while eating at a local Mexican food restaurant here in Texas. Someone had ordered Fajitas. It was interesting to note that as the waiter brought out the plate of sizzling beef strips, all the heads in the room turned to notice what delicacy was heading their way. Hence the statement “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” Steaks had no doubt been brought to various tables with little or no fanfare. However, when the Fajitas entered the room, everyone took notice. You may ask what this has to do with sales. It’s a question of selling insurance features or selling benefits.
The brochure mentality is prevalent in some sales organizations. The company has spent a great deal of money on brochures, so the easiest sales technique is to simply sell from the brochure. However, the problem is that most brochures list features, not benefits. Features don’t sell. Selling Benefits do. What’s the difference, you may ask? One is the sizzle; one is the steak. A feature states what something is and a benefit states what it does for the client. Ask yourself, “Do the sales techniques I am using answer the benefit question?” For example, a salesman might say that his product has the feature Super X. The benefits question doesn’t get answered. What does that do for the client? It actually would be better to state what the feature means to them; how it improves their life, makes their job easier, or adds value to your overall proposition. That’s a benefit. That’s the sizzle, not the steak. Make sure you sell what it does, not what it is.
I have been marketing insurance, selling insurance and providing insurance sales training for years and what strikes me as extremely interesting is that if you were to ask 100 insurance agents what they sell, I can almost guarantee you they will tell you life insurance or health insurance. If you were to ask any potential client what they are truly looking for, they would tell you safety, security, and peace of mind. Unfortunately, some times we are not selling what the client is really looking for. Why? Because we are selling the steak instead of the sizzle. We are selling features instead of benefits. Remember to always ask yourself, “Does the manner in which I am selling answer the benefit question?”
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