Pitch The Shuttle Not The Train

There’s plenty of coverage right now for the 25th anniversary of the terrific Channel Tunnel.

From idea to project go-ahead seems to have taken around six years gestation. A couple of years later digging began. Another two on and miners starting from each side met in the middle. Four further years and the trains were running.

I am delighted to learn about fine selling practice during germination.

First, there was “competition” spreading their muck. Fear uncertainty doubt. The adjacent ferry port claimed any tunnel would be ‘the longest crematorium in the world’. Apparently getting over that was a “struggle”.

Yet learnings from existing Alpine car issues meant they leaned for a train option instead,

Even here though the second angle shone through.

A key decision driver apparently preferred a car tunnel. Trains had a horrid recent history of being money burning, union molested, management inept operations;

‘When asked how you get the cars across, our chairman said: “Oh, you put them on shuttles,” and was never asked what a shuttle was. Of course, it was a train.’

When is a train not a train? Why, when it’s a shuttle, of course!

A subtle linguistic relabelling. Some might say, “spin”. But worked like a dream.

There’s many a problematic term when we sell. In this very same week there’s a debate over whether Google have actually cracked a quantum leap with a new processor. IBM unsurprisingly dispute their claims. The super-computing prize somehow known as quantum supremacy. Many a commentator suggest we ought move towards saying quantum advantage rather.

Do you have similar stumbling block? And how can you start describing it differently?

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