The Best Product Never Wins

This week courtesy of My Boy Donny  I’ve learned of an American General called John Pershing. Apparently there’s a story attributed to his brutal way of dealing with a Filipino enemy, yet which happens to be mythology. Helpfully, that country’s media rushed to outdo each other with real-life examples of said General’s thinking. Here’s my favourite;

“A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops”

Although I did also have the image of Ben Stiller’s rollicking 1999 Mystery Men comedy furiously casanova into my mind. Specifically the ageless wisdom of The Sphinx. I could blog a Sales post on him alone (a la: those that question buying will find their buying questioned).

I was further reminded of a telling quote from an Austrian-born late-Seventies computer firm founder called Hermann Hauser:

“An A team with C technology wins over a C team with A technology every time”

Every Time. Adding the humble admission, “I wish I’d known that earlier”.

You wonder whether this could ever be modified and work in reverse. By adding ‘never’ in front of ‘wins’ and switching ‘tech’ for any number of attributes, such as plan, spirit or even leader? Yet there is one situation where a direct swap works. Technology product.

It does not follow that the supposed “best” product will win the deal.

One of my earliest lessons passed down around the selling campfire known as after-work drinks was not to worry about any self-styled superior offering. Totally irrelevant. Regardless of glossy branding. It is rather all about the fit between what the prospect needs and what we provide. something we can both uniquely shape and sate. Our stance which worked in the face of bigger competition was very much, ‘well, mister customer, the best product is the product that’s best for you…’

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