Many B2B companies communicate the right things but in the wrong order. Are you one of them? If so, you run the risk of potential customers making a u-turn early in their buying process.

If you’ve participated in any sensible sales training since the 90s, you’ve been taught how to stop focusing on price and product specifications when you meet customers – and instead communicate in three steps; product > advantage > benefit, thus the simplest form of solution selling. When you do it right, customers realise the value of what you sell, you get a stronger relationship with them than your competitors have and you can sell with better profitability and work more long term.

Product: We offer a wide range of professional drilling machines.

Advantage: They can drill in many different materials, they are ergonomically designed and their batteries last a long time.

Benefit: You can do more types of drilling jobs for your customers, your staff will be less injured and you save time not having to charge the drilling machine as often.

Clearly a positive development for everyone involved compared to going on about price and product specifications. However – many companies have applied the same message in their marketing, hoping it would improve performance in the same way it did for sales. It doesn’t.

The reason is that when you communicate widely to the market, you cannot moderate the conversation through the three steps in the same way as when a salesperson meets a customer. Therefore, you lose many potential customers already at the “product stage”, because who would read the entire text or see the rest of the film if they didn’t feel a need for the product?

If you turn everything around and communicate the 3 steps backwards in your marketing, you stand a better chance of getting the recipient through them. Adapting the messages slightly so they fit the new purpose doesn’t hurt either.

Benefit: Do you want to find new customers and take on more drilling assignments, reduce the number of work injuries and finish the jobs faster?

Advantage: Then you need to be able to drill in many different materials, using ergonomically designed drilling machines with batteries that last a long time.

Product: We offer a wide range of drilling machines for professionals. Contact us and we will find the perfect package for your needs.

You get the point. As an advisor to the drill company, I would also suggest selling the hole, not the drill.