Sell the sizzle, not the sausage

One of the mantras we use with our client family at Blue Donkey is We sell the sizzle; You sell the sausage. This is important in b2b telemarketing. It’s key to why people come to us for expertise and forms part of our identity as an agency. So what on earth do we mean by sell the sizzle, not the sausage? We’re not sure where the expression originally came from as many lay claim to it, the version we like is Elmer Wheeler’s from the 1920s. He urged salespeople to focus on the experience around a product, rather than simply on the object itself. In b2b telemarketing, we translate that as the familiar concept of benefit selling, where instead of using features to sell (“it has xyz Mr. Prospect”) we use benefits (“which means it does abc”). One is basically what it has – its features or properties, for example, the other is what you get by having it – in other words, the benefit it delivers.

People never buy a product or service because of its features, they only ever buy a product or service because of the benefit delivered. So you won’t buy toothpaste because it contains fluoride, you buy toothpaste because you want clean, white teeth. The fluoride is the feature, the benefit is what you get from having this feature.

Mmm yum!

You’ll notice that sausages sizzling in a frying pan are appealing, often more so than actually eating the sausage (or not!) The sound and smell of the sizzle represent the promise of something nice to come.

Buyers in b2b telemarketing need to know what your product or service can do for them, rather than how it works. To us at Blue Donkey selling the sizzle is all about selling the particular business benefits of a product or service over the telephone. Our job is to connect with the right prospects, find out about their needs, and deliver strong benefits relating to those needs. We build an appetite for a particular way of improving their business or its performance and then critically, we pass that interest to our clients as a lead generated.

As the b2b telemarketing team, we do the first stage of the sales process by connecting with the right person and building rapport and desire (the sizzle), then our clients get the second stage of the process (the sausage) by way of the lead generation. If we go too far on the phone and try to sell the sausage, it negates the point of a meeting, and the lead is lost. This is one of the reasons why technical people sometimes struggle to make a success of b2b telemarketing, they try to take the call too far. According to business publisher Entrepreneur.com The best way to understand the true benefit of your product or service is to answer the “What’s in it for me?” question.

What’s a benefit (or a sizzle, or a sausage??)

Blue Donkey takes the interaction to the point where we have established need, interest, trust, and rapport with the prospect, this is the sizzle – the benefit selling. The sausage is passed to our client in the lead generation process as a sales lead for them to convert by taking the interaction with the prospect further and turning them into customers.

In b2b telemarketing, a benefit is something that helps you, an enabler. For businesses ‘a benefit’ is always associated with time, effort, money or security.

No business purchase is ever made unless it delivers against one of those four benefits. As a consumer we buy for all sorts of different reasons, as business purchasers, we only buy for one or more of those four business benefits.

  • Time – so reduces the amount of time required to do a certain task
  • Effort – so it makes the process easier or reduces the amount of effort required
  • Money – saves money or makes money
  • Security – reduces risk, or increases the sense of security

Sizzling hot sales leads

When we sell the sizzle in b2b telemarketing it’s our job to get the prospect interested, understand how we can help, and once ready and committed to speaking to us further, we ‘close’ – so we ask for a meeting. Sometimes the close can feel awkward. Overcoming this can be as easy as saying “from what you’re telling me, it sounds like there are a number of ways we can help you, throw some dates at me and I’ll have somebody come and show you how we can help”.

More and more companies are finding the task of lead generation and b2b telemarketing specifically challenging for their internal teams. Outsourcing has become a popular choice especially for organisations that can make better use of their resources by concentrating on core tasks and outsourcing non-core activities to specialists like Blue Donkey. To find out more about the work we do, or to discuss a project of your own, get in touch with Blue Donkey today.

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