8 18 2013 3 46 28 PM Want to sell more? Do This, Not That!

I love to figure out how seemingly unrelated concepts can apply to the field of sales. In today’s blog, I’d like to ask for your input.

Here’s the subject. If you’ve ever bought something at a drugstore check-out you’ve probably noticed a small book called “Eat This, Not That! The book is referred to as the No-Diet Weight Loss Solution and it’s by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding. They’ve clearly hit upon something big because the Eat This, Not That! franchise has earned over (are you sitting down?) $8 Million so far.

David and Matt have discovered that simplicity in sales matters, and as a result, they’ve hit the big time book lotto.

Eat This, Not That! employs an interesting formula that works like magic in today’s 140 character world of communication.
The book pits calorie-laden food choices against much smarter options, with ratings, calorie counts, and other useful facts that help readers instantly eat healthier. You can tell by the title that it breaks information down into its simplest form.

B2B purchases are of course, much more complex than deciding what’s for dinner.
None-the-less, buyers are grappling with a barrage of marketing messages that all look like the same vanilla sundae minus the satisfaction of eating the ooey gooey delight.

I thought I’d have a little fun and see if I can break typical sales messages down in much the same way as they do in Eat This, Not That! and I want you to give it a try as well.

Let’s dig into the concept which starts with the simple formula: Do This, Not That! (shall we call it the DTNT formula?) and see how it can be applied for B2B products.
Let’s break it down using KnowledgeTree—this week’s recommended tool—as an example. KnowledgeTree’s current messaging on their home page says this:

“KnowledgeTree helps companies discover and use the best collateral for any sales situation. Sales people get relevant content that resonates with prospects and customers. At the right time, right from Salesforce.com and mobile devices.”

That’s actually a pretty clear and compelling description. But while it does a great job of explaining the DT piece it’s left off the NT piece altogether i.e. it’s missing the “instead of” piece.

Let’s see what it might look like by adding one small phrase so that it abides by the DTNT formula.

KnowledgeTree helps salespeople discover and use the best collateral for any sales situation. Instead of searching all over the place—unsuccessfully—for the right content, then having their sales conversations fall flat, salespeople will quickly find and present perfectly relevant content that motivates prospects to take action.

The statement I’ve come up with doesn’t follow the DTNT formula exactly because I’ve added reinforcement after the NT. My example is more in line with, “Do This, Instead of That, Because This…”

No matter,what we’re really talking about is re-writing the traditional benefit statement slightly. The DTNT formula just ensures that we include the relevance. Notice the book isn’t called “Eat This!” It provides context and relevance by adding “Not This!”

The “Not This!” piece is critical because you can’t assume buyers understand why a benefit is important.
It’s the “instead of” phrase that brings the benefit to life. Using “so” or “so that” can also work.

Let’s take a look at another example this time using Postwire. Postwire’s website says:

“Postwire enables businesses to organize, share, and track all important content in a highly visual way.”

The benefit would be brought to life more vibrantly by adding an “instead of” statement.

Postwire enables businesses to organize, share, and track all important content in a highly visual way. Prospects lose track of information when they receive it through multiple emails, attachments and web links. Postwire lets them easily find and view your information in one convenient and well-organized location.

Much of selling has to do with getting customers to arrive at that “Aha moment.” Getting your verbiage right will ensure that prospects “get” what it is you need to convince them of, instead of leaving them luke-warm or unconvinced about your benefits. It ensures that your conversation (web-page, marketing materials, etc.) will count.

Post a comment and let me know how you would alter the KnowledgeTree or Postwire paragraphs to fit the DTNT formula. Or post a comment with your current sales messaging and whether it follows the DTNT formula. Give me a before and after picture of your messaging. Or, just make your opinion known as to whether or not I should even be drawing conclusions from the success of the “Eat This, Not That!” franchise.

Nancy Nardin is the foremost expert increasing sales productivity through the use of tools. As President of Smart Selling Tools, she consults with many of the top sales productivity software vendors as well as end-user organizations looking to select the right tools. Click to get Nancy’s What & When weekly digest with invitations to complimentary webinars and informative publications. Follow Nancy on Twitter @sellingtools or subscribe to her Sales Productivity blog. Nancy can be reached at 916-596-3035. To schedule a free 30 minute consultation click here.