Are you selling the ‘way’ not the ‘yay’?

5th August, 2021

Are you selling the ‘way’ not the ‘yay’?

Hopefully you’re reading this from somewhere warm and glamorous.

 

For the last few summers we’ve driven to France and I have to say I’m pining for a sundowner overlooking the sunflowers.

 

But right now I’ll have to make do with my back garden in North London listening to the beautiful sounds of our neighbour’s angle grinding (their 3 year kitchen renovation project doesn’t look like it’ll end any time soon).

 

Anyway, one of my favourite things about the journey to France was this sign at the Eurotunnel in Folkestone (sorry for the fuzzy photo but you get the idea).

 

It doesn’t say “Tunnel”, “Car Train”, “Le Eurotunnel”, “Boarding”, “Embarking” or anything like that.

 

It simply says ‘FRANCE’.

 

It’s unambiguous.

 

It’s simple.

 

And boy, does it get you excited.

 

Now I’m sure that those proud folk at Eurotunnel love their feat of underwater engineering.

 

They can tell probably tell you how long the tunnel is in millimetres.

 

How many man-hours it took to build. How many vehicles it can hold.

 

But they understand that, by the time we’re at the terminal, most of us couldn’t care less.

 

We’re interested in our destination, not the journey.

 

Ultimately, we just want to get to the land of buttery croissants and 5 Euro rosé.

 

And it got me thinking that lots of people make the mistake of selling the tunnel instead of the dream destination when we communicate.

 

Do you sell the way and not the ‘yay’?

 

Clients come to me all the time who can’t understand why they’re not winning more business or winning over their internal stakeholders. Often it’s because they’re selling only the ‘way’ and not the ‘yay!’ as well.

 

They’re focusing solely on the detail of their method instead of creating a feeling of excitement about where they can take their clients or stakeholders.

 

I see:

 

  • tech businesses lost in the tiniest details of their products
  • lawyers immersed in the letter of the law
  • consultants banging on about their cutting-edge methodology

 

And these details are just not as important to their clients or colleagues as they are to them.

 

How about you? Do you:

 

  • focus on features instead of on benefits too?
  • talk more about process than outcome?
  • use solely logical arguments, and forget the emotion

 

If so, it’s time for a rethink. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What’s the feeling you want them to experience?

 

Give them ‘all the feels’ as well as all the information if you want to impress.

accenture
UBS
Ricoh
Euromoney
University of Cambridge

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