Tested Sentences That Sell - Second Edition

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Why the Sizzle Sells the Steak

To understand advertising, you need to understand salesmanship. 

Both are filled with mis-steps, gimmicks, and frauds. 

Advertising is widely understood to be “Salesmanship in Print.” Understanding what makes a successful salesman then gives you the basics of what will make successful ads. With this tested collection of solutions, any person is well on their way to understanding human nature and how to approach prospects in order that marketing becomes routinely effective. 

Only when a person knows to test and re-test everything they find will success show up. During 10 years of research, Wheeler tested over 105,000 words and phrases on more than 19 million people, resulting in the development of his “5 Wheeler Points”. 

These principles as powerful today as they were when this book was originally published in 1937. Even as things change, technology transforms, business evolves – human nature has stayed the same. 

Master these secrets for yourself.


What we mean by the “sizzle” is the BIGGEST selling point in your proposition – the MAIN reasons why your prospects will want to buy. The sizzling of the steak starts the sale more than the cow ever did, though the cow is, of course, very necessary.

Hidden in everything you sell, whether a tangible or an intangible, are “sizzles.” Find them and use them to start the sale. Then, after desire has been established in the prospect’s thinking, you can bring in the necessary technical points.

The good waiter realizes he must sell the bubbles – not the champagne. The grocery clerk sells the pucker – not the pickles, the whiff – not the coffee. It’s the tang in the cheese that sells it! The insurance man sells PROTECTION, not cost per week. Only the butcher sells the cow and not the sizzle, yet even he knows that the promise of the sizzle brings him more sales of his better cuts.

. . . .

One BIG QUESTION is running through the prospect’s mind as you are showing your merchandise and telling your sales story, and that question is:

“What will it do for me?"

Therefore, almost everything you say or do must be said and done in such a way that it ALWAYS answers this important question! You must develop a NEED for your product in the mind of the prospect – for until he realizes a need, you will make little sales progress.

Now all of the “sizzles” you list for your product may create a need in the mind of the customer – but remember that although these “sizzles” may be of EQUAL IMPORTANCE to you, they may differ in importance to the prospect. If you have “you-ability,” you will be able to take your “sizzles” and fit them to each prospect with uncanny accuracy!

“You-ability” is the ability to get on the other side of the fence – to put on a pair of invisible “sizzle specs” and see your product through the EYES OF THE CUSTOMER. “You-ability” is the ability to say “you,” not “I” – and the ability to present the “sizzles” in the order that the CUSTOMER considers important.

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Tested Sentences That Sell - Second Edition

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