Watch Infomercials and Learn How to Sell?
Television infomercials don’t just rake in billions of dollars, they can also teach business people how to sell. Underneath all the hype, TV pitchman follow a tried and true selling formula that anyone who sells for a living would do well to follow.
“Strip away the hype and hyperbole and what you have left is a tutorial on how to sell. Their super-effective selling method really works," says Johnson.
Without exception these TV pitches are delivered by people who are wildly enthusiastic and breathlessly excited about the product they are hawking. Excitement, apparently even phony over the top excitement, grabs buyer's attention and rouses curiosity.
They go on to state a problem, "The problem with blankets is that they always slip off." The fact that people really don't have much trouble managing a blanket is immaterial. The need for their product, no matter if the need is non-existent, is put forth with great conviction.
Next comes a lengthy, fast-moving and repetitious recital of the benefits of ownership, complete with product demonstrations. "You will slice a tomato perfectly every time with one simple motion and clean up is a snap!"
Employing a paid studio audience to ooh and ahh and applaud wildly in response to the product demonstrations is often used to establish credibility. Short customer testimonials are sometimes interspersed throughout the pitch for the same purpose.
But wait, there's more. "Act now and we'll include a second one free of charge...all you pay is shipping and handling." This offer to double the order appears to be adding value for the buyer but in reality it's an upsell. The shipping and handling charges more than cover the total cost of adding another unit and generate additional profit.
A sense of urgency is created: "You must act now to get this special offer." "Have your credit card ready and call within the next ten minutes and we'll include Jill's recipes at absolutely no extra cost to you." Some even show a ticking clock counting down the time left to buy.
“No matter how silly and disingenuous these TV pitches are,” says Johnson, “underneath the hucksterism, you will see proven sales principals: enthusiasm, recital of benefits, testimonials, added value, and creating a sense of urgency. This is a legitimate and proven sales formula that anyone in sales would do well to follow.”
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Tina Lo Sasso
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