Friday, December 23, 2005

Seven Simple Rules

For your holiday treat, here’s a fun look at selling to small biz.

The source: PROFIT Magazine’s back-page humour column, which chronicles the adventures and opinions of archetypal entrepreneur Cumulo Nimbus (sort of the Bob Newhart of small business owners).

In June 2005, Cumulo offered Seven Simple Rules for Selling to Small Business. Some are more serious than others, but he makes good points that all marketers should keep in mind.

Here are Cumulo’s Seven Rules.

* Don't call us "Small Business." No matter what the stats say, my business is not small — it's the third largest manufacturer in our industry in the entire city of Slug Flats. A small business is the guy who prowls our neighbourhood with his pickup, offering to take down old TV antennas for cash.

* Never call us "SMBs" or "SMEs" (at least not to our faces). You say that it means small and medium-sized businesses or enterprises. I say it sounds like you're selling to a Smurf.

* If you're selling technology, don't drown me in jargon. Every time I buy a computer, all I hear is chipsets and megs and RAMs till I'm Big Blue in the face. Why not just tell me what this model can do that the others can't? Tell me how this technology makes life easier for me.

* Don't talk down to me. Just because I don't understand your new product doesn't make me an idiot. (The way your reps explain things, I'm not sure they understand it either.)

* Ask me how often I want to hear from you. So you've renamed one of your products and painted it blue; that doesn't mean I want to know about it.

* Give me experts I can talk to. I don't care if your call centre is in Moncton or Mumbai, so long as they can really help me.

* Don't make me feel like a deadbeat if I ask for a lower price. When business owners spend money, there's a reason they treat it like it's their own.

If you enjoy print-based business sitcoms (and who doesn’t?), you can peruse other Cumulo columns here.

Happy holidays!

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