What the F#@k Does that Mean?

“We think your price is too high.”

“We’re trying to improve the customer’s buying experience.”

“We need to improve quality.”

“Your product takes too long to implement.”

“It doesn’t provide all the features we need.”

“The sound quality is too rough.”

“The UI is too complicated.”

“We’re happy with our current solution.”

“We need better leads”

“The integration isn’t running smoothly.”

All of these statements and a million more have come from a buyers mouth, delivered straight to a sales person.  In most cases, the sales person takes in this information and builds their sales strategy and their sales frame around it.

They head back to the office and start trying to solve for these problems. They tell their sales manager their customer thinks their price is too high, or that the prospect wants to improve the customer’s buying experience or they need better leads. Everyone is happy because they’ve ferreted out the objections or found the/a customer problem.

Here is the problem. What the fuck does “too high,” “too rough,” “improved quality,” “too complicated,” “running smoothly,” “all the features,” “better leads” mean? Seriously, what does all that shit really mean?

It doesn’t mean anything.

“Too high?” doesn’t tell the salesperson anything. “Too high” needs to be defined and it’s the sales person’s job to make sure the prospect can define it and does. Overcoming the objection, ensuring success, and defining goals all start with clearly defining what the prospect really means when they say shit like; better, too much, not enough, more, less, unhappy, happy, working, not working, improvement, etc.  These words suck for sales people and we need to recognize them when they show up.

More importantly sales should always recognize these words as hollow and instantly spring into action, making the customer define exactly what they mean by; more, too much, less, not enough, too complicated, working, not working, improved upon, happy etc.

Good sales people are consultants, teachers, educators, provokers and challengers.  You can’t challenge, provoke, teach etc. on soft, undefined, objectives. We need the customer to be clear about what they are talking about, want, need, feel and are willing to accept or not accept.  Loosely defined, emotionally driven descriptions leave everyone confused and creates way too many opportunities for mistakes and mishaps. Their too much, may not be enough for you. Their too little, maybe too much for you. Smooth for them, maybe rough for you. Too expensive for you, maybe cheap for them.

When my daughters get old enough to go out with their friends, you can bet your ass I won’t’ be saying, “Don’t come home too late.”

I’m gonna tell em to be home by 11:00.

Make your customers tell you exactly what they mean. Otherwise, it doesn’t mean anything.