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Subjective and Objective Sales and Marketing
February 03, 2012

Subjective and Objective Sales and Marketing

In sales and marketing, you are not allowed to make subjective value statements; rather, let your customers decide for themselves how good you are!


When you see a typical marketing advertisement, you often see superlatives like best, highest, most and so forth which are used to describe how good your product(s), service(s) and company is. Where such descriptors are useful - and even vital! - is when you are talking about objective facts which you can then quantify. If you are simply saying that something is "good", however, you should keep in mind that this is a purely subjective interpretation and that you really have no right to make such a claim on behalf of your customers. Rather, you must let them decide for themselves how good you really are.

I remember an English class in primary school where my teacher - and he was English! - did not like the use of the word "nice" and forbade us from using it (or, at least, you would be penalized for doing so!). What he wanted - and what I understand so many years later! - is for us to remain objective in our statements. Instead of saying that something was "nice", we were asked to described how and why that was so. Is your product and service the best (and remember, you will always have a "service" in that you are serving your customers!)? How is that? Why is that so? These are the questions you should be looking to answer now.

You may think to yourself that sales and marketing is a pretty straightforward process and you will not be wrong in doing so. What is business, after all, but the creation of something of value for which you are then tasked with creating a market for? If the market already exists, then your job is to find interested parties and engage them in a one-on-one sales process after a sustained one-to-many marketing campaign in order to generate leads. How your position yourself and what you do is based on the customer needs you are looking to solve and this is what your messaging should be about. Finally, "you" comes into the picture because you want to use this word as often as possible in delivering your pitch.

Where we run into problems is when we become emotional rather than staying objective; what I mean by this is something akin to the famous sales saying that "people make logical decisions based on emotion." So, when a customer decides to buy something from you - or take the next step in your sales and marketing program! - what they are saying to themselves is, "This feels good and there is no reason why I should not do this." Your job, then, is to coax and guide your customer down the path to business by evaluating and re-evaluating - qualifying! - their needs vis a vis their ongoing assessment and awareness of how their needs fit together with the solution you are building together.

The next time you find yourself talking about how great you are, stop and ask yourself: why is this so and why should my customer believe me? Then ask yourself: why should they care? You see, while there is no doubt - at least, not to me! - about how great your product, service and business is, this does not mean that everyone out there needs to think so. Let's say you produce the greatest shami kabobs in the world; so what? Realizing that your product only appeals to kabob lovers to begin with, your job is to know that and then try and figure out which of those features and benefits you offer are most appealing to your ideal customer. Then, simply talk about those using sales and marketing for "you"!

Break down what you are doing in order to provide a quantifiable and justifiable sales and marketing message that people can then believe!


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