Sorry, We’re Not Impressed with Your Customer List


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During ESR’s sales training provider webcast this past Friday, I spent a good deal of time sharing ESR’s observations from recent client evaluations.

One of the areas I covered was customer lists and the indiscriminate use of corporate logos and brands.

Our clients ask ESR why the same corporate names are offered up by so many providers. Those buyers become inured to those representations and ironically, the providers who list all those marquee brands wind up losing credibility rather than enhancing it.

A simple question like, “I see you have HP listed as a customer. Describe in detail the nature of your involvement with HP,” can lead to a very embarrassing disclosure, especially if the honest answer is, “We delivered a half-day presentation skills class to ten sales reps in Oslo four years ago, and that was the extent of it.”

In a case like that we suggest reconsidering using HP’s name, or putting them in a new category entitled “Tactical Projects” or even “Tactical Accomplishments” if the result was documented, measurable improvement.

What buyers really want to know is this: In which accounts have you earned the position of preferred (or sole) supplier, with a documented track record of success?

One more observation

Another practice that raises questions is the annoying use of…

When documents or website copy becomes difficult to read and the customer can’t figure out what the highly-stylized product and service names actually represent, things have gone too far. Way too far.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Stein
Dave specializes in helping his clients win critical B2B sales opportunities as well as helping them hire the best sales talent.Dave is co-author of Beyond the Sales Process. He wrote the best-selling How Winners Sell in 2004.


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