Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak


This article discusses sales strategy for selling the benefits of accounting and booking services for prospective business clients.

To sell successfully, you must know your service and its features thoroughly, but that’s not enough. You must also be able to translate the features in to client benefits.

If you push service features instead of service benefits, you’ll break a basic selling rule: Sell the sizzle, not the steak.

Here’s a case in point: Janet Bell provides bookkeeping services. During a sales call, an office manager expressed her interest in Janet’s services. She also pointed out that Janet’s service was priced 15 percent higher than a competitor’s. “You both provide accounting services,” the office manager said.

“Yes, we do,” Janet responded. “But it’s how we do it that separates our service from theirs. We provide full data-entry services so that you can spend your time working with customers rather than entering information into a computer. That means greater sales for you.”

Before calling on prospects, review the charts below.

Three key features of bookkeeping services.

  1. Tax planning
  2. Cash flow management
  3. Management controls

Three benefits the features offer.

  1. Reduce tax liabilities
  2. Peace of mind
  3. Higher profits

Get Started with the Professional Bookkeeper™ Program

For more information on the basis behind these three features, see our article on 3 good reasons to start an accounting and bookkeeping business.

Other Articles about starting your business:


Selling the benefits of your bookkeeping service

Make your first impression count

Five Tips to Strengthen Your Client Presentations

Outsourcing your bookkeeping


Finding Clients near home

Find leads at networking events

Promote your website

The best marketing strategy: word of mouth

Get a new client every week

Trade shows can be a gold mine!

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