If you are selling a technology based product there is a strong temptation to overly focus on promoting the features of that product. After all you have put some much blood, sweat, tears and cash into producing it and you love your product. The problem is that your competitors love their product too so things can rapidly descend into a features war and pushing prospects into getting a demo/trial. This is not the most effective way to sell.
Are you feeling lucky?
This tactic has been the same for many years in technology based companies. After all it takes a brave person in a tech company to turn to their boss and say something like “Customers don’t care about our product. They can’t tell the difference between competing products because they don’t understand them and therefore make the easiest choice and/or lowest risk choice for themselves”. If you have done something like this and survived it would be great to hear how you did it.
Positioning trumps Love
Positioning is all about giving customers a reason to buy that stands out clearly from competitors and crucially that customers believe will solve their specific need. To me the start point must always be to learn more about what customers really care about rather than what we think/love. When we have this picture in our mind it not only improves how we position and sell our products but also shapes which products we should sell in the first place.
Is it hard?
I’ve been helping companies deal with this awkward question for over 12 years and perhaps I shouldn’t say this but solving the problem is not hard. The biggest challenge is getting the right people in a company to actually recognise that they have a positioning problem and need to do something about it.