When It's Never Quite Plug & Play

Pretty much every solution-style product I’ve ever sold has required a little bit ‘extra’ from the client to make it truly sing a dance.

Whether it be the obvious added cash for implementation or maintenance services or the time and resource committed from their side, to fly as advertised the investment is essential.

So it was with a knowing chuckle I came across these musings of a business intelligence software rep. Having enjoyed precisely this gig myself many moons ago my head was soon nodding along.

He likened buying such corporate reporting to gym memberships. People want to feel good about doing something healthy but never quite jump on the treadmill.

There is hardly a plug ‘n play solution item out there that is immune to needing a bit of effort. Despite claims to the contrary. For by very definition, a ‘solution’ product needs a post-order ingredient to bring out the killer flavour.

One of the big objections comes from prospect reticence to address this.

So I instantly liked the gym membership angle as an objection handle.

What happens if you buy a gym membership but never turn up…?

I realise that some sellers will squint away from this as an angle as they perceive added costs or post-sale burdens may preclude them from the deal. Yet the real winner will use these inescapable facts to their advantage. For instance from building trust by total transparency or setting competitor traps through service superiority.

I also loved another cheeky line for those dismissing added costs;

That is like thinking that if I buy a shovel, a garden will magically appear in my back yard

Pick your audience for that one and I bet it can work wonders.

And for those currently swept along the big data tidal swell;

[don’t expect that] within weeks a “number cruncher” will magically come down from a mountain with answers to all of their problems

Swap in another phrase for ‘number cruncher’ in your field and you could be on to something special here too.

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