Ignoring the dualists in the industry (Those with the outlook that as they are "good" everyone else must be "evil") sometimes vendors fall into the trap of thinking because their offering has all this unique technical minutia which gives it advantages over competing products it has to be the correct fit for every customer.
Well that's not usually the case.
The case is those of us with our noses right up to the canvas arguing over the shade of paint can miss the big picture. And miss it a lot of the time.
Techies argue about implementation and it's all great fun but what customers want to know at the end of the geekfest is if the offering will address their business needs, if they can afford to acquire it and if they can afford to run it for a number of years to come.
You can ring all those bells and then it'll still come down to their gut. Do they trust you?
Every year EMC people are gathered to look at the big picture (TSA has written about this before), and CTO Ken Steinhardt has an interesting slide in his deck which he uses during his discussion segment. For those of you who have seen this before I added point 4 in jest and Ken liked it so he adopted it as "The Twomey Corollary"
Steinhardt's Rule of Customer Beliefs.
In priority order, customers believe:
- Their own experience
- The experiences of other customers
- Objective third-party sources
- Everybody else
When going through things with customers if I find myself a bit too taken by how ingenious some things are only to find I'm not getting a reciprocal amount of enthusiasm I run through Steinhardt's Rule of Customer Beliefs.
And don't take it too personally.