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Catalytic Management
From Socrates to Snooki,
Stars and Tattoos

You're thinking I've lost my mind! How can she put Socrates and Snooki in the same sentence?  One is a respected Greek philosopher and the other, well to be kind is a Party Girl from the reality TV series Jersey Shore.  Yes, they are as different as night and day.  And it's that difference that matters in selling.
Lately I've been working with several clients who are having difficulty developing a meaningful value proposition.  This challenge is faced by companies large and small.  A friend who recently joined a leading international investment firm as a financial advisor was shocked when he realized that to his new firm a "value statement" was no more than a trite elevator speech.
Here's a tip when thinking about value - there is no one value statement.  Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, value is what the prospect or customer decides it is!  Value can be very personal and in selling, the great sales people find out what their prospect or customer "values" before they present their product or service. 
Let's say you sell Celestron telescopes and you're trying to get Socrates and Snooki to buy one.  You can tell both of them that the Celestron is a leader in designing optical products.  You can also tell Socrates and Snooki that Celestron telescopes are the telescopes of choice for the discerning consumer offering lens magnification of 165X and a stellar magnitude of 11.7 .  While these features have overall value, features are not value or benefits and they won't get your telescope sold.  Why, because Socrates like the intellectuals of his time wants a telescope for celestial viewing and Snooki, well she wants to watch that goregous guy across the street when he's in the shower.
If you really want to sell a Celestron telescope, you'll tailor your value propostion to the value definition of your prospect.  Your respective value statements for Socrates & Snooki should be:
  • "The Astromaster 114 EQ will deliver clear, crisp images of all the stars in the Milky Way and beyond".   Socrates just said "Where do I sign?"
  • "If you want to see his abs ripple and figure out that great tatoo on his butt, the Astromaster will get it done". After uttering an expletive, Snooki screams "Butt cheeks, here I come".
Learning your prospect's personal definition of value is the key to the sale.  So how do you find that out - you ask!  You "discover" by asking quesitons.   Ask a series of questions that are designed to uncover a need or want and that encourage insight into a problem or need.  In other words, use the Socratic method of questionting to get at the prospect's definintion of value! (did you see that one coming?)
So as the French say "vive la difference"! Be a different kind of sales person - sell the right value to the right prospect!
Want to improve your discovery skills, call Catalytic Management & ask about our customized sales training!  We'll build a program that matches your value definition!
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Thought Provoking
"I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance"
"Eating fried pickles was a life changing event"
Jersey Shore Snooki
If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing"
W. Edwards Deming


"Everyone who's ever taken a shower has an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference."
Nolan Bushnell
Catalytic Management
67 Edgehill Road • Stow, MA 01775
Phone: 978-562-5001 • Web:

Catalytic Management specializes in business performance and growth consulting
including sales effectiveness, customer service and business process improvement for companies
in New England and the Northeast.
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