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  • Writer's pictureBrian Shea

Why CEOs must ask "So Freekin' What?" when reviewing sales content

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

In a recent meeting with a VP/head of sales, I was asked to provide feedback on a recent batch of "new marketing content" that their sales team intended to use. The company had new product offerings in their lineup and the marketing team immediately got to work creating "one pagers" and other product support content.

The head of sales asked me to read the content, which I declined to do. Instead, I asked the VP to read each piece to me. We began with a randomly selected asset from the pile. The VP recited the headline on the collateral "XYZ is proud to announce the launch of (some product)". I stopped the VP and asked "so freeking what?" She stared at me with a puzzled look. I then asked "Who cares?".

Now the VP was curious and wanted to know why I interrupted her. I would answer her, but asked for an answer to my two questions, "So freekin' what?" and "who cares?". When the VP continued reading the content, I interrupted her again after each sentence, again asking "So freekin' what? and "who cares?".

The VP paused again and looked directly at me. Her next statement was "I actually don't know".

Red Flag #1: Content lacks insights and perspective, instead "It's all about me."

Buyers don't care about your firm's new product...... Or when you were founded...... Or the background of your leadership team......... Or much else about YOU.

Vanity doesn't influence buyers.

Seller provided content must help a buyer advance their buying process. Successful sellers provide unique insights to buyers trying to solve a business challenge. When done well, sellers can become trusted partners by providing a different perspective to solve the challenge. Buyers at different stages in their journey have different questions to be answered. A new product announcement "one pager" likely adds no value to the buyer. In the buyers head they are asking "So freekin' what?"

If the buyer is in an Awareness stage, general information may be acceptable. But if the buyer is in the Consideration or Purchase stage, then specific information including relevant case studies including "we recently helped a similar client with a similar challenge address this problem" language that may be more appropriate

Red Flag #2 "One message cannot serve multiple personas"

Each member of the vast buying team (which includes a mix of 7-12 decision makers AND decision influencers) has a different job to do on the buying committee. A technical buyer who was tasked with researching compliance requirements is looking for different information than a user buyer who needs the right solution to help them with their day to day job. Based on each buying job the buyers need to complete, content must help them complete that job. A seller cannot be a servant seller when pushing homogenous collateral at a buying team.

If your sales team is struggling with securing meetings with new buyers, the content may be part of the problem.

CEO's of fast growing companies need to start asking "So freekin' what?" of their content marketing and sales teams.

To learn more about building foundational maturity of your sales content, reach out to us at . We can help.

Brian Shea


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