By Corey Moss
I believe it’s high time to ask the question, “why do solutions providers think that we need to be sold on the bells and whistles, just like the marketing buzz we can really all do without?”
Case in point – I noticed a video on LinkedIn where someone was greeted on their Apple laptop with sparkling confetti and a personal hello welcome message when entering a videoconference meeting.
And the comments on LinkedIn ranged from “cutee” to “that’s fun!”
Business to most is (and should be) a serious matter, as it is for the end user where they want the best technology solutions for usage in their competitive day to day activities. Though we do like to mix some fun with the daily grind, I would think that tech innovations should be laser focused to providing the best methods of communications, collaboration and just getting work done, with workflow enhancement also being an important aspect here.
…And not being about the “Too Cool ” – as was another comment. Who really doesn’t agree that the cool bells and whistles, to go along with the marketing drivel, really have to come to an end already. Customers are getting tired of it, as I tired of it years ago in every sales meeting I attended where the presenter showed every button and I/O (input/output) on a piece of equipment, as if we should half care about that more than what it could actually do for our clients. The leave behind materials certainly spelled all that out (and we could no doubt inform our customers with the paper too).
Do absolutely provide a “happy” experience for the end user, since customer satisfaction is a key driver for business to go along with the best in customer service. Do it in your relations, your consulting – the things that really matter to the customer. I heard a great quote provided at a recent event that I attended – it goes like this:
People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
Perfect. And I’ll add to that they don’t care about “the cool” either – they want to know that it does what they need it to do for them. They likely don’t give an iota about an I/O (unless maybe if they’re technically inclined), nor do they want to be sold on a sparkly doodad. I tell the story of a presentation I received at an InfoComm show of a new product, and my time was literally wasted as the sales person went over every single I/O where I finally had to stop him to just tell me why this met the needs of the customer – a solution for the end user if you will. And… sales shut down.
Marketing. I watched a video the other day on LinkedIn of a well-known “social media icon” slamming marketing people, talking about how hard they make it for the sales people who have to grind every day to achieve quotas, while they spin up and sell the latest jargon to the CEO promote, almost counter to salespeople’s daily efforts. I have to say I was a pretty peeved about his perspective (not a big fan actually) as I know many great marketing people who not only provide great messaging and backing for their sales team or teams, and work hand in hand with them. Many are also pretty tech savvy themselves – they have to be in this highly demanding and competitive day and age.
Yet I still have to bristle a bit when I see that buzz word (here is a list of top 10 to avoid – look at what’s #1…) and I can certainly add a few. I once challenged a solutions provider who used a known buzzword in the title of a news item that was requested for publication, to essentially prove it with a recorded sit down explanation (the news was posted as well). With that, they got to expand on the discussion very well – and yes they were allowed to use the buzzword there too. However this way it did make a lot more sense, and they were very happy to have been given this opportunity to express it in this way.
The technology world is full of vast and amazing possibilities, there is no doubt about that. It’s truly a mystery to me though why that sparkly bell or input whistle is anywhere necessary in the grand equation. As a former commercial integration sales person I do know the usage and value of particular equipment, specific inputs and outputs as they apply to certain scenarios for integration, the right tech options for any given situation in terms of communications and collaboration. There are so many projector and display options at this point, a more honed-in beyond the once standard approaches is truly of great necessity. Digital signage and video wall technology solutions in particular demand it.
To sell or market anything with a “magic” approach (one of my favorite all-time tech marketing buzzwords) is just an annoyance. Yes, even though Arthur C. Clark postulated “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” I can almost guarantee the customer will never be sold on that. They want — results.
There’s the point – unless companies can take on a full results-oriented approach, and provide the best in terms of the overall experience as well, it does not serve the customer well otherwise. They don’t want to be “sold to” or marginalized with sparkly buzz, they want to receive the best possible scenario for their business or education technology needs.
Drive it with the results-oriented approach, and leave that sparkle and shine behind. The like-minded results-oriented customer will no doubt thank you for it.
With over 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, The Collaboration Factor and Convergent Tech Talk. He has written for numerous industry publications about AV, IT, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud and software, IoT, cybersecurity and more. He has also conducted interviews with AV and IT executives and global influencers. Find him talking about a whole lot of things, tech and otherwise. On LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/mosscorey/.