“Nobody gives a hoot about your products, Nick.” He may have substituted another word or two there, and his intent was clear. I was talking to another business owner about how our respective businesses are faring.
“They don’t…really. They’re fine products, don’t get me wrong. They’re brilliant. And the executives you’re selling to don’t give a hoot about yours any more than they give a hoot about mine. They just want to know: How much am I gonna make? How fast is it gonna come? And, that’s it, sad to say.”
I was silent for a few seconds.
He went on: “Think of it in your own terms. You’ve told me, yourself. Think about the last time you redid your web site, and it’s a fine site, don’t get me wrong. And you were talking to this agency and that agency and they were telling you how pretty your site would look and how easy to navigate and how much traffic it would attract… and what were you thinking all the while they were singing that stuff to you?”
“I was thinking, ‘That’s significant money’ and ‘what are we going to get out of this if we make the investment?”
“Right! That’s right, Nick. Of COURSE you cared about how the Website would look. Of COURSE you cared about the navigation. But, at the end of the day, if you were wearing your business hat rather than your artsy hat, you wanted to know, ‘can I get the same outcomes for $6,000 vs. the $30,000 they’re proposing?’”
I found a particularly interesting spot on the floor at which to stare.
“Look, Nick, far be it from me to tell you how to run your business, OK? We’ve had to learn this for ourselves the hard way. We’ve made lots of mistakes. You have, too. And so have the people we’re both selling to. And that’s why they want to know, “how much and how fast?”, and that’s why they don’t give a hoot about our products.”
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