5 Ways to Sell Your Sizzle

5 Ways to Sell Your Sizzle


Selling the sizzle, not the steak, is a basic selling principle that’s been around for a long time. In an era of budget, time, and labor constraints, it is possible to sell your ideas, aka the sizzle, to decision makers within your organization. The approach is simple, selling your ideas up is dependent on how you frame the opportunity. Daniel Burrus, leading technology forecaster, innovation expert and founder and CEO of Burrus Research, shares his tips on how you can sell your sizzle.

1. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes

Focus in on what the decision maker is going through at the time of your pitch. Do your research and uncover the main challenge they’re dealing with right now. Once you do so, position your idea as the solution.

2. Anticipate objections

Even as you frame your idea as the solution, objections will arise. Don’t let these catch you off guard. Get into the decision makers head and anticipate what their response will be beforehand. The goal is to overcome the potential blocks before they arise. By solving the predictable problems before they happen, you’ll eliminate objections before they’re presented.

3. Leverage the power of certainty

When you’re selling your idea, the people you’re talking to are thinking risk.  You have to alleviate their fear of risk.  This is not a time for “if,” “maybe,” or “might.” Only address the things you know for sure. It’s about what will happen versus what might happen. In a world filled with uncertainty, what are you certain about?

4. Define the cost of a no

Before you get a “yes” or a “no” to your idea, explain the true cost of a “no”. Often, a “no” will be more expensive than a “yes” when you consider all of the implications of the “no”.

5. An anticipatory approach to selling

It’s important to remind yourself well before you sell your sizzle, that if you haven’t done the groundwork to get the other party excited or onboard, you’ll likely go nowhere. As you’re busy talking about features and benefits, the other person is thinking about costs, risks, ifs, and maybes. That’s why you need to solve all those things ahead of time. This is really an anticipatory approach to selling — you’re anticipating the problems, the rejections, the objections, and the concerns so you can overcome them and turn them around.

Yes, you are passionate about your ideas and think they’re great, but remember not everyone loves the same things as you, and there is no shortage of good ideas. So when you’re selling your ideas to others, instead of focusing on your ideas, focus on the other person and the challenges they face.

What do you think?

Do you have any further tips to add to the list? I’d love to hear how you successfully sell your sizzle in work place. Comment your views below and join the conversation.

This article was written by Jelena Milutinovic on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: Daniel Burrus; Evan Carmichael; LinkedIn

Image credit: Positive Sum Games

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