It continues to surprise me how many marketers leave the definition of decision criteria for their product to someone else.
Every product has some areas where it excels and other areas where it may weakly compete. Perhaps marketers are afraid that buyers won't purchase their product if they know beforehand the product's weaknesses. If this is truly the case, the marketer has bigger problems than verbalizing the product's weaknesses.
At the Buyer's Mercy or Not
The result is that buyers are often on their own when it comes to defining decision criteria for a purchase.
In certain cases, buyers can turn to analysts, reviewers,or consumer agencies to learn how to evaluate the product's usefulness for their situation.
They may also turn to the volume of information on the Internet to supplement their research. In this age of abundant communication, marketers can't hide their dirty laundry for long.
Opening the Kimono
It is time that marketers start thinking differently. After all, it is the marketer's job to find good matches for its product. The best way that marketers can find these matches is by being honest and clear about the situations where their product works best. This also involves helping buyers not select their product when it is not suitable.
I often find that marketers are deathly afraid of admitting their product's weaknesses. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, if they don't admit the weakness, it doesn't exist.
I tend to look at it another way. If you can find buyers who are delighted with your product despite its weaknesses, you have a business. If you can't, you need to fix the product so that it can enable a viable business.
Some of the worst sales I have seen happen when a product purchased is not a good fit for the buyer. The pain and anguish these sales cause the business and the customer can be extreme. Why try to make a square peg fit into a round hole?
Help Buyers Find Their Perfect Match
Do you want to expedite a sale? Do you want to create a good buyer match? Then help the buyer understand the decision criteria they should be using when evaluating solutions for their need.
Be free to not have your product rise to the top in every situation. After all, isn't that what differentiation is all about?
Simplify the pros and cons of the important criteria. Position your product accurately against the criteria. You will save the buyer time. You also will build an amazing amount of trust with the buyer. That trust is your most valuable asset in a successful sale and in an unsuccessful one. With it, buyers remember and return to you for their other needs.