Oh that’s nice, but so what?

Jul 16, 2020 | Business Development

Why just talking about what a product does isn’t going to make anyone buy it. (Sorry but it’s true)

I’m in awe of those who can create stuff. Those brainboxes who have the vision, the coding the skill, the product roadmap in their head, all of those kind of things. I’m jealous, I wish I had more of it. But, if we all had the same skills, life would be a little bland. Hopefully, there’s room for a little bit of commercial acumen to sit alongside these clever folks.

Working with founders one of the most common things I see is that when it comes to the pitch, there is a natural focus on the product. The founder lazers in on ‘what does this thing do.’ When you think about it, that makes sense. They only blimmin invented it, it’s their thing, they understand it in a way no-one else possibly ever will. So they focus on the widget and its features.

And here’s the thing. That often doesn’t generate the result they were hoping. It doesn’t create a pitch to win ratio to be proud of. 

Why is that then? Because very possibly the person being shown around just doesn’t care. Ouch. But it’s true. Put yourself in their shoes, do they care that this dashboard can be set up in six different ways or are they bothered that there’s a preset workflow for blah blah blah. 


They are probably thinking, do these folks really know what it’s like to be in my position and will this blimmin thing make my life any easier or at least save me some money.

What’s the way through this pickle? 

The difference is to show that, yes, you do know what it’s like to be them and yes this will make things a bit easier for them. Maybe even a hell of a lot easier.

And the way to do that is to tell stories. Stories with a purpose.

This is not something that comes easily to most of us and this is (and I think it’s ok to say this,) especially the case for those blessed with a technical mind. For just about anyone, it’s definitely not easy to do off the cuff in the heat of the moment on a call or a demo.

Here is where a little bit of thought and planning can make all the difference. Enter stage left the great so what sheet. To help people get on their A game in a pitch situation and to signpost how to tell stories with impact I use the great so what sheet.


Say what?

Success lies in talking about the problem we encounter, how it can be overcome and what difference that makes is the way to do it.

Don’t be like others who say:

Here’s our dashboard, it shows your data in five different ways.  Doesn’t it look pretty.

Be the person who stands out:

We know how annoying it is when data requirements change. So we set up the system with that eventuality in mind. You can update in one place and then populate that across all of your sites. What this means is you now have a system that adapts to what is happening on the ground, you change it once, it’s reflected everywhere and you can sleep soundly that everyone is now running to the new requirement.

To do this consistently in the heat of the moment, I have created so what sheets with clients and we run it on screen two, just out of shot of the camera on the demo. We try things out, test and learn and update and refine the answers as we go. The key is to keep to the programme. With each aspect of what you want to show go through the steps of highlighting the challenge, mentioning the feature and then really pressing home the result. Go light on that middle bit, remember they don’t care. Remind them of the challenge and then bash it down. Do this right and the actual feature is secondary, you can fix a problem and that’s what gets bought.

There’s more that can be done here of course. Combine the so what sheet with some heavy artillery questioning and it’s quite straight forward to really get to what motivates your buyer.

Grab your own copy of the so what sheet here. 

You feel more confident, the prospect experience is greatly improved and the conversion ratios go up. Everyone’s a winner. And it all takes is three columns on a Google Sheet. (Or an Excelif you really must).