JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

29 March 2018

Ever talk to a salesperson? Of course you have! Some are folks great at building relationships – inquisitive and engaging people that have a knack for solving others’ problems. Some are a combination of insecurity and amphetamines. They get you on the phone and talk so much you wonder if they even know what they are selling. Is it a service? A product? An idea? How do you know this will solve my problems? Have you even asked me what my problems are?

There is a scene in Trolls Holiday that perfectly describes a few conversations I have been a part of:

Poppy: Lady and Gentleman, we’ve traveled all the way from Troll Village to solve your problem!

Bridget (puzzled): We have a problem?

Poppy: But don’t worry because we have a solution. You guys need a new holiday!

Bridget (still puzzled): Holiday? Why do we need a holiday?

If you’ve seen the show you know that Poppy figured out she was being pushy, and they were able to move on. But that conclusion is rarely the case in real life, especially in business. Most times, Company B dumps the sorry keister of Company A. Company C picks up Company A before it reveals its true colors. Fast-forward a few years and the story repeats itself.


Sales and marketing go hand in hand. Being on the marketing side of this equation, I have met members of many sales forces. For some of them, it’s difficult to take a step back and simplify their messages. The products they sell are likely developed by someone else. The salespeople were just hired to sell, not to figure out or articulate the natures of or the reasons for the products. But, as Albert Einstein said,

“If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

Let’s start to respect each other’s time again by simplifying. If we simplify, we’ll be more clear. And if we’re more clear, we’ll be more efficient and less time-consuming. Do it for your prospects. Do it for your customers. Do it for yourself.

That simplification just might be your differentiator. It just might earn you some trust. And that trust might earn you some business in the bargain.

At the very least, you’ll be different.