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The Problem with Kids! Why Talking About Your Products and Services Is Wrong

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by: Jeff Ogden (@)
09 October 2012

This is the 10th in a series of guest posts for Silverpop written by Jeff Ogden, president of B2B lead generation company Find New Customers.

A good friend and top sales expert resigned from a software firm. I asked him why he left. He told me, “Because the owners thought buyers were stupid if they couldn’t see the value (of their products).” He grew frustrated, because he couldn’t sell using that attitude.

I experienced this too. Once when talking to the owner of a pay-per-click software company, I asked him what his biggest problem was. He said, “Buyers are stupid.” No they are not. They simply don’t care.

It’s nearly impossible to convince people to stop talking about products and services. I decided these business leaders look at their products and services like their children.

[caption id="attachment_5222" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Some business leaders look at their products and services like their children, talking about them all the time instead of focusing on what buyers need."][/caption]

Want to crank up sales and profits in your company? Then stop talking about your kids.

I adore my kids. Three boys – 19, 16, and 13. Great kids. Want to watch my videos or flip through our family photos?

Of course not. You don’t know them and you’re happy for me, but you couldn’t care less. It’s like one of those bumper stickers you see everywhere, “My Child is an Honor Student at …” Mom and Dad love it, but no one else cares. That sticker is on the back of the minivan to please the driver (Mom) and no one else.

Welcome to the real world of B2B sales and marketing. No one cares. If you’re looking to engage buyers, stop thinking like a parent and, for heaven’s sake, stop sharing your family photos.

The analogy of comparing kids to a company’s products and services works. When David Meerman Scott said to his boss, “No one cares about our products and services,” what his boss actually heard is, “Your kids are ugly.” David was fired.

No one likes to be told his kids are ugly. But David was right.

Herein lies the conundrum for B2B companies. They’re proud of their fine products and services. They’ve worked very, very hard on those products and services. But no one wants to watch the videos or view the photo albums of their “kids” – products and services. Unfortunately, that is what 98 percent of companies feature on their websites: “We’re the leading provider of …” “A multi award-winning search marketing firm …”

No one cares.

This is why ideal customer profiles, buyer personas, mapping content to the buyer variables (title, buying stage, industry) and content marketing are critical in B2B marketing today. Focus on what buyers need and not what you have to sell. And if you can’t get it done in-house, reach out to outside experts to give you the tough medicine.

That’s the BEST way to do B2B lead generation.

You must take time to carefully plan your approach for success today. Understand what makes those buyers tick, service them, earn their trust — and watch your business soar.

Related Blogs:
1) “Assessing Content Needs
2) “The Keys to Success with Content Marketing
3) “Twitter Tips for B2B Marketers


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