OK, I'm dating myself with this one. But I thought it a
small price to make the point I want to in this
month's Sales Tip. How many of you remember the
Wendy's "Where's the Beef?" commercials that ran in
1984 and 1985? For those of you who don't, the
commercials were a parody on the meagerness of the
hamburger portions patrons received when eating at
competitive burger joints. Contrary to all the
advertisements showing close-in shots of giant,
beefy quarter-pounders and whoppers, what you
actually got when you sauntered up to the counter,
plunked down your money, and walked away was a
thin sliver of meat sandwiched between two much
larger halves of a bun! The commercials featured a
crusty old lady demanding to know, "Where's the
Beef?" It became one of the most successful ad
campaigns in history, earning Wendy's difficult-to-win
market share from their two main competitors.
It's the same thing in a sales presentation. You may
come in and wow them with claims of how great your
offering is, maybe evening whipping a nifty
PowerPoint on them. But if you leave that
presentation without showing them your "beef" - the
benefits and advantages of your offering and how it
can help them achieve their objectives - all you've
done is leave your prospect hungry for more. And
guess where they'll go to tame their appetite?
Prospects want to know "Where's Your
Beef?" If you simply make a claim that you can
do something, it's not enough. How many of us
use "est" words when presenting our
products or services? You know - Biggest,
Fastest, Longest-lasting, or simply -
best? These "ests" are so commonplace - so
routinely served up (no pun intended) by sales
people - that the
average prospect has become inured to them. They
have no effect - not a positive one, anyway. Quite
simply, "est" words mean nothing to a
prospect - unless you can back it up with
cold, hard, evidence. With beef.
So what's your beef? Your beef is the
package of features, benefits, and advantages of
your offering that relate to this particular prospect's
needs and goals. If you're going to make a claim
about your offering, you must be able to back it up.
How? Simply state a feature that delivers what
claiming, describe the benefit the feature provides
as it relates to your claim, then - if possible -
describe how it meets the prospect's needs better
than any other provider's similar feature does. Then
nail 'em down to ensure they not only understand
what you told them - but that they buy
Here's an example: One of my prospects wanted to
sharpen his sales team's skills and processes. He
was concerned that the training won't "stick" beyond
the two-day engagement, because he himself once
suffered through a boring "lecture"-type training
session before. For him, the most important factor in
making sure his investment paid off was that
the sessions "engage" his reps. Here's how I handled
"So what you're saying is that for training to stick,
the sessions have to stimulating, is that correct?"
The prospect nods, yes. "Great. You'll be pleased to
know that we're known for making participants
work - while at the same time learn and have
fun. We pride ourselves on providing the most
stimulating training sessions for companies your size.
Through the use of role play, games, and periodic
comprehension checks, we keep your reps focused,
engaged, and "into" the training the entire time.
Because your reps are actually using the skills
taught, not just listening to theoretical concepts,
your reps have a high likelihood of retaining, and
using what they learn, well beyond the end of
the engagement. Better skills, better approaches -
more closed business. Here's a quote from the client
(I hand him the testimonial). This is what you
want from this investment, isn't it?" I concluded.
Next time you're preparing for a presentation, make
sure for each claim you make, you back it up with a
feature, benefit, and - if possible - an advantage.
Then make sure your point is accepted - by all in
attendance. Then move on as needed to address
other issues the prospect has. Integrate this into
your presentations, and you'll see your closing ratios
rise, and your income grow.
Oh - and you won't get those, "Where's the beef?"
looks from prospects ever again!