Condescension Is Not Persuasion

Sometimes when you are selling some thing totally new, no one understands it. They don’t see your vision. They haven’t been privy to your brainstorming sessions. You have to take them to the mountaintop. When you are selling something radically new, this happens all the time.

When UICO.com released their initial technology, their target markets were enthralled with the engineering. UICO made a mistake though. They didn’t fit the product to the market and go out with a stock example. They thought they were being nice by saying, “You can have it anyway you want.” For their target market, they were like kids in candy stores going after one shiny object after another. The tech was so cutting edge and so cool they wanted to play with it. It made it harder to close a sale.

UICO was significantly ahead of its customer. In the beginning, their approach wasn’t persuasive. UICO is selling stuff like crazy now by the way. They still have some of the most forward technology in the market place. Check out the videos on their website. It’s absolutely nuts what they can do.

Compare that to Steve Jobs approach with the iPod. He put what he wanted into it. It scrolled how he wanted it. The caste of the white colored plastic was to his specs. The marketplace didn’t have any choice, except as to what music to input. A sample size of one. It was wildly successful.

When you bring something totally new to the market, you cannot appear condescending to customers. Data matters, but it’s not the most important thing. You need to ask questions to find out where they are at. Only then can you start to take them up to the mountaintop so they can see the same thing you see.

It is critically important when you are selling something new to remember that customers make decisions with their limbic brain. Otherwise known as their gut. They make an emotional decision, not a logical one. You can pepper them with all kinds of facts. You can pencil sell them on how it’s cheaper. That stuff doesn’t matter in the end.

What matters is how they feel.