Why the Sales and Marketing conversation should never be about you


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I was delighted to be asked by the founders of the admirably named Witty Parrot to contribute to their collection of 25 “Sales Productivity Tips from the Experts”, featuring a bunch of really smart people. The book has been a runaway download success – you can download your copy by following the link at the bottom.

I chose to focus on a subject that top sales performers and the best marketers have always understood, but the rest of us could sometimes benefit from being reminded of: in today’s complex B2B sales environments, the sales and marketing conversation should never be about you – but about your prospect.

Here’s my short contribution in full:

“It’s been said often enough, but it’s worth repeating: your prospects (if they have any sense) are NOT interested in what you do. They are, however, interested in what you could help them achieve, and they are even more interested in what you have already helped other organisations like theirs to achieve.

Thou shalt not bore Witty Parrot

They don’t want to hear that what you do is faster, cheaper or better than your competitors, because they expect all suppliers to say that, and they expect them all to lie (usually with good justification). That sort of messaging goes in one ear and out of the other without stopping in between.

In addition to what you have achieved for other organisations like their own, they want to understand what sets you apart. They want to understand how your approach is distinctively different, because that’s the sort of information that might make them sit up, pay attention, and remember what you’ve just said.

They want to be educated. They want to learn from the experiences of others. They want you to give them the full picture, warts and all, and not sweet-talk them with impossible to deliver promises or claims. They want you to tell them how it is. They want you to help them navigate the obstacles that might stand in their way.

And once you have won their trust, they want (and need) you to help them sell the need for the change and the benefits of your approach to their colleagues across the organisation. They want you believe that you will be a reliable partner before they decide to do business with you.

But if you insist – as so many other organisations do – on basing your marketing messages and your sales conversations about what you do, your failure should come as no surprise.”

There are 24 other articles in the eBook. Every one of them contains a set of actionable insights. I recommend that you download your copy today – just follow this link or click on the image below.

Excerpt From: “Sales Productivity Tips from the Experts 2014 Edition.” Edited by Mark Gibson and Rajesh Setty. 

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Bob Apollo
Bob Apollo is the CEO of UK-based Inflexion-Point Strategy Partners, the B2B sales performance improvement specialists. Following a varied corporate career, Bob now works with a rapidly expanding client base of B2B-focused growth-phase technology companies, helping them to implement systematic sales processes that drive predictable revenue growth.


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