The 10 things your customers don’t care about (even though everyone in your business thinks they do)
by Jason Watson
We all know we must share insights, so everyone is busy building market insights, technology insights, customer insights, product insights.
But have you ever taken the step back and asked yourself if these insights are valuable to your potential and existing customers?
If you believe in the need to sell with a buyer’s perspective, then it is worthwhile recognizing the top 10 things your sales executives and marketing people think your customers care about. Remember though, in reality, customers are at best agnostic, and at worse actively creating reasons to ignore you.
Without further ado, here’s a list of the top 10 things your customers don’t actually care about.
Let’s start with an easy one: your jargon. Does the sentence below look familiar?
“We are very proud of how we use SEaaS as a means of delivering JIT, AI driven, competency solutions to build dynamic gamified learning journeys, via our LXP, which sits on your existing LMS. We look to combine all learning styles, following the well known 70:20:10 model…”
It is very easy to fall into the trap of using jargon, especially your jargon. It is the language of experts in your field, so it is bound to impress!
But you are not talking to your colleagues, you are talking to stakeholders in a customer’s business. You need to speak their language, unless of course they are playing ‘Jargon Bingo’.
Your sales methodology
“We have invested heavily in MEDPIC to ensure we properly qualify our opportunities, do you mind if I ask you the following questions?”
Your customer does not care whether you Challenge, MEDPIC, Blue Sheet – etc. Avoid using the language of your qualification process when talking to them.
Your view on your competitors
“Are you aware that we have been outperforming our closest competitor over the last three years and that our product has more features than theirs, why would you take the risk of going with them?”
People don’t want to hear your perceived doubts about the effectiveness of your competitors. If they are talking to you, they want reasons to work with you, not reasons not to choose others.
Your company history
“Let me tell you a little bit about our company, we were founded in 1993 by 3 friends in their garage…”
When did you last make a decision because the company was founded in 1993?
Yes, there is a need to do financial due diligence on a supplier, but do you really need to know its history?
Irrelevant success stories
“Let me tell you about what we have done with a small ecommerce start-up based in Seoul….”
Yes, it is important to share insights that show how companies have overcome risks or delivered against opportunities, but they have to be relevant.
Do you really care about the success story of how a company in a completely different industry – with different legislative challenges and a different economic outlook – was successful?
“Let me share some insights into our product and how it is different from the competition”.
Unless you are at the later stages of a buying process (where the customer has built a set of criteria you must meet), they do not care about your features, they care about their challenges and the opportunities they have to address.
So what is the lesson here?
If you believe that buyers have changed and that they see no value in talking to salespeople – beyond a pricing exercise – do not reinforce that belief. Only share insights that create value, that help the stakeholders in the customer through their buying process. The insights should help them discover:
· They need to consider doing something different, as their current approach will not overcome imminent risk to their business or mean they miss out on current and future business opportunities.
· They discover how they overcome the risk or deliver against the business opportunity; they are equipped to build a business case for change and define required solution criteria.
· Once they have achieved the above, focus on why they should buy from you. Remember, if you have influenced the above, you have probably already achieved this.
How do you know if you are doing this?
Before you share any insights, reflect on the following: If you were in their shoes, what value would the insight be in helping make a decision? Does it pass the ‘so what?’ test? In other words,
· Is there enough relevance to my reality?
· Does it tell me something I did not already know?
· If I already suspected it, does it quantify the risk or opportunity?
· Do I understand the Insight?
How to avoid creating the wrong insights and sharing things your customers do not care about?
· Ensure both sales and marketing take an outside-in view of the world.
· Don’t talk about yourself, talk about the customer’s challenges.
· Create insights that can be segmented by industry, geography, company size, target persona, etc., to ensure relevancy.
· Ensure you sales executives have business acumen not product acumen.
· Always sell with a buyer’s perspective.Tags: Jason Watson