One of the things I learned as a marketing consultant looking at marketers’ behavior from the outside in is that many of us all too often become very self-centered.
We get so absorbed into our own world that we start thinking of our products and services as the center of the universe (and in fact they are the center of our universe). By talking about the space we live in day in and day out we start suffering from the curse of knowledge – resulting in the fact that nobody, save for a few industry insiders, has a clue of what we’re talking about. Often times this situation gets aggravated by arcane company structures and cultural artifacts.
The problem of course is that prospects rarely think of your products as the the center of their universe, and while you babble about your products using all the fashionable industry buzzwords, your customers use much simpler terms to talk about your products. And of course, while you may think that a certain type of prospect belongs to a particular industry bucket because that is how your company is organized, rarely do they in fact fit into the buckets you put them in.
So why is it important to break out of this self-centric view of the world?
It’s simple – because most of your prospects will increasingly get the information they use to make buying decisions from friends and peers. And if they cannot reuse your information to convince their friends and peers they will make it up, and most likely mangle it. Or they will use information from a competitor that is much easier to retell and push their peers into the camp of your competitor who uses much simpler stories to describe what they do.