If you have been around anyone vaguely interested in marketing, you have probably heard the saying “Sell the Sizzle NOT the Steak”. Another form of this expression is “Sell the Benefits NOT the Features”. Or perhaps you have heard it put like this, “Sell People What They Want, NOT What They Need”.
Anyway you say it, it all comes down to the simple fact that people “Buy on Emotion and Justify Their Purchases Using Facts“. As a small business owner you have got to work very hard at knowing when to sell the sizzle and when to sell the steak. Trust me, you are at a great disadvantage here. This really is where an outsider, such as someone who specializes in marketing, can be of great help to you. Someone who is not infected with the “we know what went into to making this” virus.
Face it, people don’t care how long you have struggled, how much money you have invested or how many years of your life it took to bring your service or product to fruition. Don’t waste valuable attention time by trying to sell someone on these things. Ask yourself one thing and one thing only. From the customer’s point of view – “What is in it for ME?“.
According to the Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages at the beginning of 2011, in Missouri (where I live) small businesses that have less than 50 employees, makes up 94% of all businesses in the state. I suspect that those numbers are similar throughout the nation although I have not verified that. In any case, both state and federal governments agree that small businesses are the driving force of our economy. Contrary to popular opinion, I predict that this number will actually increase in the coming years despite the ongoing recession.
Everywhere I look people are beginning to wake up and realize that they have sold their souls for a dollar. They have given up their freedom for what they mistakenly believe is a “secure paycheck”. In reality people have lost their independence, their identity and I even their security.
Yes, the odds are against the success of a startup business. But the odds can greatly be altered in favor of the entrepreneur who is prepared with the right knowledge and actions. The basics of starting and running a successful small business really is simple. Simple, however, does not mean easy. From what I have read, performing an emergency Tracheotomy on someone using a pocket knife and the barrel of an ink pen sounds pretty simple. But how many of us could actually slit someone’s throat, stick our fingers into the blood and flesh and attach a pen barrel to their wind pipe?