No-one wants to know how the sausage is made

People buy the sizzle. They buy the smell. They buy the taste. They buy the fantasy vision of a happy family enjoying a special breakfast together around the table.

The same is true whether you’re selling a course of Pilates classes or legal services. People want to buy the result your service or product can deliver to them.

  • I don’t just buy moisturiser, I buy the promise of eternal youth (because apparently, ‘I’m worth it”).
  • No-one buys legal services for fun, they are paying to have someone make their problem go away.
  • You don’t pay your accountant because he’s a nice guy that’s good at sums, you pay him or her because they keep the taxman away from your door.

This week I was working with a small leadership development firm. They asked me to critique their website. When people ask me to do this, I take the Simon Cowell approach - what’s the point otherwise?

After 20 seconds of reading, I needed a cup of tea and a lie down.

The company is full of very nice, earnest, intelligent people with more PhDs than you could shake a stick at. But their website was an explosion of business clichés, complicated venn diagrams, and detailed descriptions of business models used, (so they said) by Harvard Business School. And quite honestly, if I wasn’t being paid to read it, I’d have left the site in around 20 seconds to go and make cup of tea and have a lie down.

Their website gave me chapter and verse and minuscule detail on how the sausage was made. There was no sizzle, no taste, no smell. In short, no benefits.

Focus on the benefits. Focus on the sizzle.

So when you find yourself tempted to ramble on about features and finer details, make sure you are balancing that with benefits. Solve their problem. Present them with an image of a better life. Give people a reason to pick up the phone, or click or email you.

jackie harrisComment