Inanity

Standard

Sometimes the reasons we give people to buy are inane.

Inane as in lacking sense or silly as dictionary.com would define the word.

Here is my most recent TV commercial favorite.   It’s the garage door that still works (praise the almighty) when you lose power at your house.   This 30 second inanity begins as the fearful family pulls in the home to discover that there is no power to the house but Holy Driveways Batman, the garage door still opens!  We are saved!  

 Are you kidding me?   A) How often do you lose power and B) are you not capable of getting out of the car and using your key to the front door?  So silly.  The scary part is that some bright marketing agency felt that a garage door that works when you lose power is the key selling feature and that it should be the central part of a 30 second television ad, i.e. the reason buy.  

That’s inane.

If inanity lives in prime time advertising it may still exist closer to home.  So let’s make sure in the B2B world we don’t have any inane reasons for someone to buy hanging out there.    Let’s make sure we don’t have reasons that lack sense or are downright silly. 

I doubt these inanities still exist around here but just in case;

You should buy because I’m your account manager.   I remember a time when folks would believe that and even say that.  That having someone “assigned” to a client to be “account managed” was gloriously stupendous all by itself.   Many a sales rep used to think (I hope) that since the customer has “me” as an account manager well that would…um….be a darn good reason to buy.   A classic sign if you or your company still possesses this kind of inanity is if you get upset, hurt or worried when a customer chooses to buy a product some other way like going online or by calling someone else at your company.  

You should buy because We’re the cheapest.  This is B2B folks; cheap is cheap.   70% off, 60% off or”I can beat everyone’s price” gets you less and less today in the sales game.  You might actually do better by raising your prices; it can reflect your investment in services/ product and impart more literal or perceived value to a client.  Cheap makes you look cheap.  Cheap undervalues what your product does.  Cheap is something to avoid, not embrace.   Very few can pull of cheap as a reason to buy and those who do it well leverage far more than the low prices to retain and acquire customers.

You should buy because We have- “hours from 8am to 8pm 6 days a week”, “.. a 100% guarantee..”. “ …free shipping on..”, “..online ordering..”, “ ..a loyalty program for…”…etc…etc”.  These are pretty much Table Stakes folks;  that is to say that  everybody has these and simply needs to have them to get a chance to even play at the table.    And frankly, one of these alone or even all of them together is not a killer reason to buy.   Conversely, and somewhat unfairly, not having these can be a reason not to buy from you.   

So let’s take a lesson from our colossally idiotic consumer group that is dumbfounded by what to do when the power goes out and they are caught outside with just a garage door remote control.    Our business clients aren’t like that; they carry a bunch of keys to get where they need to go and they’ll need a lot more from you before they look to you for help.

 

Till next time,

Grow The Business

Mark

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