The title is a famous marketing statement made popular in the 1930’s. It’s based on a simple progression that takes place in the human mind:
DESIRE ATTRACTION SATISFACTION
Desire for Steak
Steaks sell because of a powerful recurring desire, hunger. That’s not the only desire though. There is something about grilled meat that really turns on most people (no offense intended to our vegetarian and vegan friends). Maybe it’s the memory of the satisfaction of eating a hot, juicy, and tender steak.
Sell the Sizzle
Sizzle is stimulating. It creates an eagerness for the steak. We all know that instant appetite we feel when we smell baking bread or grilling meat. It’s a primal instinct of desire. We can choose whether or not to pursue the desired thing, but we don’t choose the attraction. The attraction works at a subconscious level. We may need to be in the right mood to be susceptible to the attraction, but it works on us whether we want it to or not.
Deliver the Steak
Unless you don’t care about the customer, you have to deliver what the sizzle promised. You have to meet expectations or there will be disappointment. Satisfaction will bring them back for more.
To understand your sizzle you must first understand the desires that you may choose to satisfy. OK, everybody’s mind jumps to the desire for sex. While that is often a powerful desire and should not be overlooked when considering your sizzle, it is not necessarily the most powerful desire your potential date may have. It is surely not the only desire. The desire for companionship is strong. What about the desire for appreciation? Happiness. Romance. Giving. Touch. Safety. The list for what people want from the person they hang with goes on and on.
Like a steak’s sizzle, your dating sizzle comes from the highly attractive attributes of what satisfies the desires. Eating satisfies hunger. The sights, sounds, and, smells of a steak cooking are the attractions. The desire for steak is relatively simple compared to dating desires. You will have to work harder at being creative to discover your dating sizzle. The desire for sex is often believed to be one of the simpler desires and therefore one of the easier ones to produce sizzle. Sizzles for the companionship desire are more challenging. Those sizzles are even more challenging if you try to create sizzle with written words; for example, “long walks on the beach” or “cuddling together on the sofa” or “attending the opera together.”
Pictures can sizzle way more than written words (unless you are Shakespeare). Humans can be powerfully stimulated by images. This is why advertising uses images. There is a big difference between writing “I love candlelit dinners for two” and this image. Your dating profile pictures are very important to creating your sizzle.
What you do on a date has great potential to sizzle. Your packaging can sizzle. Dressing attractively, being nicely groomed, and wearing a nice fragrance (even though every carnivore loves the smell of bacon, we don’t recommend it) can stimulate a multitude of desires. A kind word can be powerful, not to mention a smile or laugh. You may not be able to give your date a lifetime of love on your first date, but you can give them the expectation that you might be the source of such love. Did we mention the excellent sizzle of eye contact held just a little longer than normal?
Only create the high expectations that you want to live up to. It may be tempting to offer what you won’t deliver, but it’s obviously a doomed enterprise. Know what you will be delivering before you sell the sizzle. The good thing is that most people want what most other people can satisfy. If someone desires companionship, it’s not too hard to find someone else who wants the same thing. If your date desires appreciation, is it so hard to say “mmmmm, this is good” when you eat your date’s cooking? Deliver the goods your sizzle sold and you have the makings of a great relationship. Sizzle gets them in the door, but satisfaction keeps them coming back for more.
Sell the sizzle – deliver the steak!