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Sales EQ by Jeb Blount

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25Do You Get Me and My Problems?

Is there a greater sin in sales than boring your audience?

—Mike Weinberg

My new client was insistent that I was wrong and, having pushed the issue so hard, I felt I was treading on thin ice with our fledgling relationship. I'd been trying to make the point that my client's focus on competitive differentiation was doomed to failure. The debate centered on the marketing organization's desire to develop a consistent sales pitch that would be supported by a bevy of marketing collateral.

Just prior to our argument, the marketing team had delivered a dog-and-pony show of brochures, presentation decks, and digital sales media.

There'd been buzzwords, complex-sounding jargon, and pretty images all delivered with the smugness and arrogance of highly compensated, well-educated marketing professionals who were completely delusional about what it actually took to engage prospects and close deals in their highly competitive industry.

The marketing team was gravely concerned that the salespeople didn't have a consistent message and, in the words of the vice president of marketing, “had no idea how to articulate the company's points of competitive differentiation.”

My pushback was blunt. The company didn't have a messaging problem. It had an engagement problem. The account executives were failing, not because they were unable to articulate a clear message, but because they articulated it too much. The account executives were talking stakeholders to death. ...

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