6Ms of Coffee

Whoa! Steady on, coffee aficionado! I know there are supposedly five, not six, Ms of coffee, but there is fair discrepant thought on this, right?

For those wondering what on earth I’m going on about, I only just discovered this ‘rule’.

It seems that the Italians consider a number of key things need to be in order for the perfect coffee to materialise. It goes under the name, “the 5 Ms of coffee”. So what are these Ms?

Miscela (the blend)

Machina (the coffee machine)

Machinadostore (the grinder machine)

Mano (the barista’s hand)

Mesura (the grams of coffee per espresso shot)

Manutenzione (maintenance, so everything is ‘always ready’)

The reason for six 5Ms, is that around the web, people seem to choose one of either mesura or manutenzione, but strangely not both.

The moment I saw these, I loved it. I’ve blogged on something similar before; The 5 Cs of Credit. What for me is so good about these, is their application on getting a point across for us in Sales.

First to note, is that each key word begins with the same letter. Always a neat trick when trying to craft a winning argument.

Second, what you’d expect to be at the core of ‘coffee’, namely the humble roasted bean itself, is not on the list in its own right. The blend takes precedence. Put another way, only one is about the actual drink. This strikes me as a terrific selling pointer. What you think is at the heart of what you sell, probably isn’t.

Third, I really like the split between man and machine. Another wonderful Sales steer. The success of any sale is as dependent on the people making it work as on the ‘product’ alone. Maybe even more so.

And fourth, in both the credit and this coffee case, the 5 points are about the outcome. Not the task. I take an example from my first  selling world. I should not have created the 5 As of accounting software, but the 5 As of effortless month-ends. In another case that sprung to mind from a company I worked closely with last year, their original mindset was akin to the 5 Bs of telecoms plumbing. When they’re better off now talking about say, the 5 Bs of always-on apps.

The encouraging news for sellers, is that I know you can sculpt a simple list pretty easily. And all you need is 4 points. I reckon you could get away with not even the full five. But you could always go wild.

And when you come up with your own, focus on the outcome (you can also think of it as the problem you make disappear), make sure a meaningless ‘feature’ isn’t at the centre of what your saying, and remember the split between man and machine.


Whilst this of course applies to all solution sales, I’ve also tagged this for New Products. This is because it struck me as an especially cool launch conference workshop to get the assembled Sales crowd to come up with their own 5s. Fireworks will surely duly crackle.

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