Heaven forbid that I should harp on about the old features and benefits number again, but something I read in my fellow Canadian, Toronto-based **Tsufit’s latest email has made me take a look at this issue in a different way.
In Tsufit’s excellent article, which is the 7th installment in her 11 part series, Secrets From The Spotlight!: “How To Attract New Clients in Just 30 Seconds,” she proclaims, “You gotta know what you’re selling! It’s no coincidence that many of the car companies put models on the hood of their cars. They know what they’re selling–sex. And they don’t need the models to do it.”
“Ask yourself,” she continues. “What are you really selling? Escape? Youth? Fun? Hope? Relief? Comfort? Security? Freedom? If you don’t know what you’re selling, how can you sell it? Once you have the right WHAT, the HOW is EASY.”
In Tsufit’s case she was talking about major corporates – a car manufacturer and later in the article, a beer company. And that got me thinking about applying the same principle to micro, small and medium sized businesses, too.
Is there any reason why we shouldn’t be appealing to clients’ and customers’ slightly more basic instincts, like the huge FMCG and other giants do?
So what am I really selling to my blog writing prospects?
First (being vain and self-centered) I thought of my own offering when I attend F-2-F networking events and have to do the 45 second “I help people…” what I do speech, a.k.a. the Elevator Speech. What I usually mumble between bites of bacon and eggs is something about being a business blogger, and helping other people get ideas for their blogs through 1-on-1 coaching and workshops.
But now Tsufit’s words are ringing in my ears and I think, no – that’s not what I’m really selling. After all it was probably back in the 1950’s that someone in the advertising world said “don’t sell the sausage: sell the sizzle in the sausage.” And looking at my particular sausage, it wasn’t sizzling much.
So I hope Tsufit would agree with me here that what I’m actually selling, is not help to get ideas for your business blog, but…
Creative lightbulb moments….
OK, enough about me: what are others really selling?
Let’s look at what some other small businesses and professional services might really be selling.
Law firm – priceless protection and security
Accountant – peace of mind, no tax worries
Electrical contractor – safety from injury and even fire
Hairdresser – making you feel great
Logistics/transport company – no more let-downs on delivery
Yoga teacher – stress relief that works
Computer repair service – no more frustration when your IT stops working
Holiday/travel agency – taking you safely to your dreams
How to figure out what you’re really selling
Here I go again with my features and benefits argument: features are what something is, benefits are what it does for you. Now track back from the benefits and look at what basic needs, fear and problems your typical client or customer has, and work on how you really solve those. For example:
Law firm – priceless protection and security – fear of being cheated or prosecuted
Accountant – peace of mind, no tax worries – fear of getting into trouble with the tax man
Electrical contractor – safety from injury and even fire – fear of getting hurt
Hairdresser – making you feel great – need something to perk me up
Logistics/transport company – no more let-downs on delivery – embarrassment when deliveries go wrong or goods arrive damaged
Yoga teacher – stress relief that lasts – need to get away from my problems, job, kids, etc
Computer repair service – no more frustration when your IT stops working – when my IT dies I feel like I’ve had a leg cut off
Holiday/travel agency – taking you safely to your dreams – planning a holiday or short break is something to look forward to
Please share your views!
And thanks to Tsufit for inspiring this article.
**Tsufit coaches lawyers, entrepreneurs, experts, keynote speakers, professionals and authors to captivate their audiences. You can buy her book, “Step Into The Spotlight,” in the USA here, in the UK here, in Canada here, and on other Amazons. Want to find out more? Contact her office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Quote © Tsufit 2006-2014