By Tibor Shanto – email@example.com
We have all heard the expression that an empty wagon makes the most noise, no doubt from an older relative trying to tell us that that we were talking a lot, saying very little of substance, worth hearing, or had as near the level of impact as the noise we were making saying it. Well, I can tell you that there are a lot of empty wagons when it comes to sales and sellers, usually in lack of substance or delivering on the hype.
You see this when sellers embrace half of an idea, usually the easy half, but fail to follow through on the entire concept and end up making a lot of noise as a result. Specifically in the early stages of the sale, when they resort to talking about how their product/service will improve Productivity, increase efficiencies, reduce Costs, minimize Risk, enhance their work-flow, and a few other generic variations of the same thing.
The half they bought into is the need to go beyond feature – benefit, and venture forth to where they are presenting their offering from the “what’s in it for the client” perspective. Where they fail to follow through, is in adding specific substance to the above phrases, leaving them beige and generic. This unnecessarily extends the length of their sale cycle, or kills the sale all together.
Picture yourself as the person getting the calls, dozens of calls every week, from the copier rep, the wireless rep, the IT integrator rep, the office supply rep, the transportation rep, the sales training rep, and the oodles of other reps. All telling you that they CAN improve your productivity, not HOW they could do that, what the actual impact would be, but just that they can improve your productivity. Multiple that by all the “buzz-phrases” and by the number of calls, and by Tuesday afternoon, it all sounds like an empty wagon.
It takes little extra effort to replace the generic phrases with actual example. How do you in fact increase efficiencies, what has been the actual impact of that increased productivity, and how can you best present it in a way that the buyer can relate to in their world. All you need to do is go past where marketing leaves you, and study some real world examples, be they your customers specifically, or any client your company has helped. Understand what their reality was before they used your product and service, and where they after taking your offering on board. Yes, this requires effort, but in the end a lot less effort than the effort it take to push things up the generic hill, the hill where you and every other generic rep looks frighteningly the same and unappealing.
You will quickly move from saying “we help companies like yours increase your efficiency…” to “clients implementing our software have seen an average increase of 8% in the number of units produced per hour, with a reduction of 5% in rejected product, and a 6% reduction in materials used; this has allowed them to increase revenues by 7%, and a 10% rise in profit margin as a result of cost take out”. Sure there are a couple of extra words, but the substance, weight and specifics they communicate to a potential buyer are more direct and make a lot less noise than the emptiness of the generic descriptions used by most.
What’s in Your Pipeline?