Customers are willing to ignore the "best" product if it means going with a company they're comfortable with.
I recently completed a loss review for one of our customers - it was a Government tender for a Content Management System. They fed back to me that they were quite certain they had gone with a provider who didn't have the "best" CMS offering - however what this provider did during their demonstration was paint a picture for the Government department as to how their particular CMS offering would improve the department's ability to service its customers/constituents.
"Most of the presentations focused on features, benefits - and telling us how good they were as a company," they explained to me. "Hardly any presenter actually painted a picture of what our business would look like once their solution was up and going."
The lessons are clear:
- the best way to impress a customer is NOT to talk about yourself - but rather to talk about THE CUSTOMER and how you can make their world better
- suggestions - even "challenges" - about how you can make a customer's business better are MUCH more interesting than an exhaustive demo of your product's features
- it's not WHAT you sell - it's HOW you sell it.