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It's All About "You": Customer-Centric Sales And Marketing
August 13, 2009

It's All About "You"!


Sales and marketing is all about “you”.

What this means is that “you” – that is, your customer – must the focus of everything you do from creating value to communicating it. “You” helps you remember who you should be talking to and whose needs you must address. “You” keeps you away from becoming "I"-centric, company-centric or product-centric. At the end of the day everything you do is about “you” the customer.

Think about your last sales or marketing pitch. How much of what you discussed was about you instead of the customer? Are you bringing a fantastic new product to the market? Did your company just get written up in a trade journal? Did you rattle off all of the new features we love writing up brochures about? It is okay to talk about all of that as long as the focus is on “you.”

Value is the key in turning a typical sales and marketing presentation around to become customer-oriented. Value asks the question: what’s in it for “you”? Does your fantastic new product answer a need your customer told you about? Why should your customer care about you getting written up in that trade journal? How do those new features benefit your customer specifically?

Traditional sales and marketing often follows a “holier than thou” approach where we preach to the customer about the virtues of ourselves and our product and service and then direct them on what they should do (buy our product). This approach worked in the past and may have been appropriate way back when. Today, however, customers know far more and demand far more.

The next time you are surfing the web pay attention to how much marketing is “you”-centric and how much is “we”-centric. Many companies still fall into the trap of declaring their virtues as their primary sales and marketing pitch. “We have been in business for 20 years!” “We are ISO9004 certified!” “Our product has been ranked #1 for 3 years in a row!” Who cares? Do you?

Instead, how about a slight change in wording and thinking: “Partner with the industry leader for over 20 years.” “Our ISO9004 certified products ensure you will receive the highest quality available on the market today.” “Join 1000s of customer who have made our product #1.” Same information, different focus. This time you are speaking to the customer and talking about value.

Try tweaking your sales and marketing pitch to be more “you”-centric and more direct. The word “you” should figure predominantly in all of your customer communications, presentations and discussions. Don’t just make pronouncements but seek to engage. Don’t assume you know but ask. Don’t rattle on about yourself but rather seek to understand and create enough interest where the customer asks themselves.



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