Sometimes things happen at home and I think ‘there is a blog post in that!’   That happened this weekend.  

My hubby and I were discussing what to do on Saturday morning; the decision was school shoe shopping with lunch out.  Not the most riveting way to spend time  but something that has to be done.  

A few minutes later I heard him asking our 12 and 10 year old, in a cheerful voice, ‘Who wants to go school shoe shopping today?’

Of course it was answered with groans of despair.  

Followed with me hollering “Nooooo!  You’ve got to sell the idea to them!”  

Both my children know they need new shoes to go back to school.  They both know the end of the summer holidays is approaching fast. They also both know exactly how busy shoe shops are at this time of year as every school parent joins the ‘how late can I leave it to buy shoes’ rush.  They would both far rather be doing something else, in fact anything else! To be honest so would I!  

Just asking them the straight question was never going to be met with ‘Oh that’s a good idea, let’s go’.

All it needed was a little bit of window dressing; a few well thought out words to turn the mundane shopping trip into something fun and interesting for all of us.

Something like, ‘Shall we go out for a nice lunch (preferably mentioning a place they love), we could sort out your school shoes and we could always pop into that [insert shop they like] and have a look to see if there is anything new.’  The only extra I am actually offering is a food option, but that incentive is enough to turn it into a fun trip out which also happens to sort out shoe shopping.   

It doesn’t matter if you are asking people to sign up for your email list,  offering them a free eBook or pattern, asking them to follow you on a Social Media platform, or showing them a product they could buy- you need to ‘sell them the idea’.  

It is selling the sizzle not the steak! It is tempting someone with the delicious smell of coffee, or freshly baked bread. It isn’t about over selling, or hype. It is about knowing the benefits of your craft business or service.

People buy benefits not features.  I love this example, though it does need you  to imagine the telephone has just been invented.  It’s a mystery to you.  It all seems very scary, as any new tech is. A salesman says something like, ‘I want to show you this new invention called the telephone. This telephone breaks your voice into electronic signals which it then transmits via wires. A switching station with an operator connects you to another location via a switchboard. The person at the other end can then hear you and you can hear them.”

‘So what!’ (unless you are a tech geek!) It doesn’t sell you the idea of needing one.

What if the salesman instead said, ‘I have an easy to use telephone that will allow you to talk to your friends and loved ones where ever they are and you can chat with them just as if they were sitting right here next to you in your home!”

Now you have my attention.  I’m now thinking about who I would want to talk to!  Its the sizzle not the steak.

Don’t talk about what you have made and how, the time you took or the materials you have used.  They want to know ‘what is in it for them’, talk (or write) about how your item will make someone feel, how it will help them and how it will benefit them.



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