This is a repost of something that Adam Gray posted the other day

Rory Sutherland tells the following story, from which we can all learn lessons.

“The in the 1980s Royal Mail conducted some research and found that 98% of their First Class mail was delivered the next day. They decided that they would try and raise this to 99% to make their customers happier, and this process of doing to almost broke them.

At the time, had you polled their customers with the question what percentage of post arrived the next day, the average answer would have been 50-60%.”

The time, effort and money they spent on increasing performance would have been better invested in telling people how good they already were.

The challenge that many businesses seem to face today is that they think their future success is predicated on whether they can improve their product/service - perhaps if we add these feature or that function, or deliver more quickly or or or… then everything will be fine. Particularly from a sales perspective this simply isn’t the case.

Today, most products are “fit for purpose” and simply highlighting features/functions that the customer doesn’t care about (or doesn’t fully understand) is waste of your time and theirs. We know this…and yet we still do it.

In the modern world, relationship is everything (odd, given that in the very OLD world relationship was everything, but nonetheless true). Yet we focus on case studies, testimonials, use cases, research, product development, demos etc. Now, don’t get me wrong, some of those things are perfectly valid and in many cases they are necessary, but they certainly shouldn’t be the focus and here’s why.

On LinkedIn alone there are 1,000,000,000 people. They all claim to have THE ONE AND ONLY solution that will solve my problem. Company X has a red button, company Y has a blue button, company Z has a green button…to the seller these buttons are crucial but to me they are just buttons.

In order for me to believe that blue is the button I need I must trust the person telling me about the button. And I won’t unless the person has invested in our relationship and I know them.

The interesting thing is that most businesses seem to be focusing, like the Royal Mail, on the 1% which is hard rather than using the successes that they already have - their people.

Empower your people to be more social, to have more conversations and to make more friends and the rest is so much easier.