- By Mark Kimathi
- Published 07/3/2008
- Writing for the Web
“Sell the sizzle not the steak” is an adage common among sales people and marketers. It was coined by Elmer Wheeler in his book “Tested Sentences that Sell”. Creating the next best sizzle has then become an obsession amongst marketers. You find a campaign commended for the heads it turns, but the question rarely answered satisfactorily is, how many turned heads could be developed into interest and a consequent sale? Online, you cannot hide behind a great attention grabber that does not convert to sales. This is because your marketing and sales efforts, unlike offline, are completely trackable. Previously, we saw that prospecting is the initiation of a marketing and sales campaign. Effective prospecting demands you get the attention of individuals most fitting to your perfect customer profile. The quality of prospects taken through a sales process will determine your conversion rate. By getting so involved in creating the next best sizzle, marketers may forget they need to sell the sizzle to hungry beef lovers and end up selling the sizzle to a vegetarian straight out of lunch. Prospecting is not only about grabbing peoples attentions, it about grabbing the attention of possible customers.
One big advantage marketers
have online is that prospects tend to clearly demarcate themselves. Infact surfers look for you. Surfers use particular sets or phrases of words to look for whatever they want to find online. These phrases are called keywords. Internet marketing, whether in the form of Pay per Click (PPC) advertisements, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Email Marketing, is built on keywords. For example, in PPC ads, use of the specific keyword in the headline tends to get better click through rates than use of smart wordings. Similarly, SEO depends on a collection of highly related keywords commonly referred to as niche markets. Often the tighter the keywords are related, the easier you can optimize the website to rank well with the search engines. On the other hand, email marketing which depends on a list of contacts depends on the topic the list was collected on. Each email list gravitates towards particular topics and consequently particular keywords.
There is a mind common among marketers that hold to the premise that marketing involves reaching as many people as possible. Such a mentality is suicidal online. The more specific you are about who you are targeting, the more you attract targeted traffic or qualified prospects. Surfers are searching for you using keywords. By basing your prospecting on keywords, you position yourself to be found.