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We’re at reason #5 of Ten Reasons You Lose . . . Even When You’re the Best.  Today’s reason:  Your message is “overkill.”

When you are the best, and you know it, there’s a great temptation to document all the ways and all the reasons for which you are the best. That kind of message can backfire because it’s too hard to follow, too hard to understand, and especially too hard for your buyers to explain to their bosses.

What’s so hard to believe, and so painful to many companies, is that buyers in large organizations are not necessarily looking for the best, the most innovative, the most cost effective, or the most creative solution.  They are looking for a safe solution that will work–“safe” defined as they will not be in big trouble if it doesn’t work as well as it could or should.

So being “the best” could sometimes be defined as promising more than they can stand.  It comes in another version too.  That is the “too good to be true” version.  I worked with a global software and consulting company that specializes in spend management.  The sales team lamented that they were losing their best deals–those where they could provide the greatest savings for their prospective customers.  But in fact what they promised was so outstanding that the buyers didn’t believe it.  They had to learn to keep the promises more reasonable from the customer’s perspective, and then let them be delighted when they achieved even grater savings.

Keep your solution simple and your story simpler, and you’ll refrain from overkill.