There is an old adage in sales, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” It was coined by a fellow named Elmer Wheeler in the mid-1920s. Obviously not a vegetarian, Wheeler urged salespeople to focus on the experience around a product being sold rather than simply on the object itself. Basically, he’s saying: Don’t base your pitch on the properties of the product; talk about what it can do for the client and how it will make life better for them.

In other words, don’t talk about how the vacuum cleaner was made in Germany and incorporates the latest technology; tell the client he’ll be able to vacuum the house in half the time and he’ll never have to buy a replacement bag.

That strategy still makes sense today, and in particular, can be applied to software sales.

Foreside is a leading provider of consulting services to the investment management industry. Their new SaaS platform, AdCompliance, provides automated review of financial marketing materials.

AdCompliance has dozens of unique, innovative features. But instead of drilling down on the specifics, we focused on the benefits to the end user — things like efficiency, time savings and ease of use.

Here’s the end result:

The video lives on the Foreside website. It’s also being shared on Foreside’s social channels and through in-person presentations.

Here’s a short behind the scenes interview from the shoot.

Consider selling the sizzle, not the steak, in your next software demo.

Bill Haley

P.S. Have a burning question about video? Let me know and I’ll try to answer it in a future post.