Avoiding Feature Minutiae

I’m really enjoying some work I’m doing with a tool company at the moment.  From a seemingly remote North Welsh town, they make and distribute anything from pliers, trowels, padlocks and the like.  And they’ve made market leader into electrical wholesalers, so have clearly done things pretty well.  Their newest range has a TV ad that was filmed in Cape Town, above Long Street incidentally, and is fantastic.

In speaking with over a dozen of their reps, I’ve noticed a few are still ‘old school’.   When they go into a customer (or prospect store), they often talk about how wonderful a particular new widget is.  Yet there’s a hard core of reps there, that actually don’t talk about individual products at all.  They go in talking about things like:

  • Merchadising (display) stands
  • Packaging colour
  • Range breadth and depth
  • Service level superiority
  • Simple ordering and maintenance
  • Overall quality/reliability

And for one product group in particular, one guy has latched onto this, and does half the entire firm’s business in that area.  It’s a lovely demonstration that you must remember to back away and pitch the bigger picture once in a while.

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