sell-the-sizzleWhen QVC first launched in 1986, I was just beginning to hit my stride in corporate sales. By 1990, I decided to give up my full-time career to become an entrepreneur. Even though I had sales experience, selling to homeowners was a whole new thing for me. I turned to QVC, an innovative new business model, to get my “MBA” in sales and marketing. Here’s a few things I learned from watching the experts:

Use a Limiter: QVC is the queen (or king) of limited offers.  They used to have a clock showing how much time a customer had to purchase the product before it would be sold out.  We all rushed to the phones (that was before computers) to “Buy Now!”  A limiter influences your client to act – and say yes – so you can “seal the deal.”  Limited offers can be based on the number of people (1st 10 to buy!), a specific date (one day only!) or a time period (April special). I tuned in while I was writing this blog (research) and the Germack Berry Nut jars are only going to be available ‘til Sunday and they won’t be back ‘til Fathers Day. Darn! Now I have to stop writing to order them.

Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak: You can literally hear Kansas City Sirloins sizzling on QVC, “A great value when you buy today!”  I learned the “sell the sizzle” expression early in my corporate sales days.  It means to sell the benefits, not the features.  Today, we call this “emotional selling.”  Focus on how your product or service makes people feel.  If you’re not sure, ask your customers.  A survey is a great place to start.  If you need more ideas, tune in to QVC anytime.

Use Testimonials: Let your customers sell for you. The most compelling sales tool is a client sharing why they hired you, how your product makes them feel and how they benefited.  As soon as I hear “Sarah from Greenville” calling in to QVC to share how the (fill in the blank) has changed her life, I have to have one.  Add client testimonials via quotes and video to your website/marketing materials and let them do the talking – and selling – for you.  Make client testimonials part of your follow-up system by asking 3 simple questions after the sale: 1) What attracted to you my product (or service)? 2) How did it benefit you? and 3) How would you describe my product or service?  You can glean a lot from watching TV.  Infomercials, QVC, and those “As Seen On TV” commercials all offer valuable sales and marketing tips.  Instead of shopping, have your pen and paper ready to take notes.  Today’s Special Value is more revenue.  Act Now!

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Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur and bestselling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl. She speaks to global audiences about Direct Sales Success, Women’s Empowerment, and Social Selling and is a resource for press, media and bloggers. Follow Lynn on her social sites by clicking on the icons on the top left of this page.
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