Selling Web Solutions and Technology
Why Do People Buy Technology?
People and companies do not generally seek out technology; they seek out solutions to their pains or positive emotional states. Technology for the sake of technology is not a great marketing strategy. When our clients purchase from us, they are really buying outcomes, feelings, results, and solutions.
Too often those involved in the high-tech sector bury their prospects in endless streams of jargon, highly technical diagrams, and gratuitous numbers of acronyms. These terms and over-complicated descriptions often confuse the client, clouding the core benefits and failing to answer the basic questions: “What’s in it for me?” and “What’s unique about this solution?”
Some of the most effective sales professionals who sell these types of solutions are good at taking complex solutions and communicating their benefits in very powerful but non-technical terms. The following example is a technically filled pitch for web development and marketing that contains a lot of unnecessary jargon:
Example #1: Technical Jargon
I would suggest that when we build your site that we use an open source CMS that has a WYSIWYJG editor built in. Drupal would suffice, in fact it is also very SEO friendly and can be formatted to have an RSS feed for each page. This will be important when we’re trying build you back links, as back links are an important part of the Google page rank algorithm.
This description really misses any opportunity to talk about value. It simply rattles off multiple technical terms. In this example, the salesperson most likely thinks they sound like an authority when what they are really doing is potentially excluding the prospect in the process.
The following example is a benefit-oriented pitch for web development and marketing:
Example #2: Benefit-Oriented
You said that you would be frequently updating your website and that you wanted to save as much money on doing the updates as possible by reducing the need for a web developer in the future. My suggestion is that we us a CMS called Drupal with a WYSIWYG editor. The site will be constructed in a way that search engines like Google will give it a higher ranking on search results than some of your competitor’s sites. This will of course result in more traffic and business for you.
Drupal is free software that requires no on-going fees to be paid. A CMS is a Content Management System which basically allows you to make changes to the look and feel of your website, and even where information appears on your site without having to do a lot of expensive redesign. A WYSIWG editor stands for “What You See Is What You Get” and what it allows you to do, without any additional software or understanding of programming, is to log into your site and access a page that looks much like a Microsoft Word document. From there you can create new pages and edit existing ones without the assistance of a technical guru.
This example takes and expands the technical terms, educating the client in an inclusive manner, and focusing on the core outcomes, results, and benefits of using the technology. The bottom-line is when we talk over people’s heads, use jargon and lack empathy we don’t get the deal. Keep it simple, include the client in the process, and position yourself as a resource and a coach.