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“Anybody can benefit from our solution!” (Nope.)

“Anybody can benefit from our solution!”

This is a common refrain in sales discussions. It makes sense because, to a less-established salesperson, it feels like a way to cast a wide net and get lots of prospects to convert quickly. It makes your solution seem like it can do anything. It’s all-powerful. It’s like the Superman of SaaS or whatever you sell within.

Thing is, it almost never works. Why?

Basic human psychology is reason No. 1

People take their businesses very seriously. They spend a lot of time there, and the money they earn is tied to their feelings of success and self-worth, as well as the quality of life they can have. Many people who run businesses have a very specific view of what their business is, up to and including thinking their business model is incredibly unique (that’s often not even true).

As a result, though, companies want to hear that your solution works for them, or has solved similar issues for rivals in the same industry and vertical. They want to know it works for their specific needs, not the needs of 10 other industries.

As a salesperson, you need to be seen as the expert in the domain you are currently talking to, not 100 other domains. “We do everything under the sun!” feels to decision-makers like “This will not work for my unique situation.”

And in all honesty, can anyone really benefit from your solution?

Typically the companies that use this sales approach have the worst technology — not always, but often — and are saying it to catch as many fish as possible, because their client retention ends up being low (because the tech isn’t good), and they need more and more clients to keep the revenue engine churning. Just what we’ve seen a lot.

What’s the answer?

Salespeople need to understand product-market fit. (We’ve actually done workshops on this topic.) The only way to successfully grow and scale a business, especially in a newer market, is understanding how your product fits into that market. Who are the other competitors? How are they messaging? What can you legitimately do better than them? What are areas where you need to be more “creative” in how you talk about your solution?

Product-market fit is crucial and also helps you avoid the premature scaling death trap.

For now, though, remember this above all: the next time you’re with a prospect, and you have a little FOMO and want to say “Anybody can benefit from us!” instead check yourself and talk specifically to their little slice of the business world and how you can help that. The outcome is going to be better.

Ted Bauer
About the author

I help companies to market their content in the most effective way.