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May 16, 2016 . by Frank Visgatis

Sellers: Use Verbs, Not Nouns

sales tips, sales process, sales training“No one buys a quarter-inch drill. What they buy is a quarter-inch hole.” – Theodore Levitt, Harvard Business School

This famous quote encapsulates the philosophy behind CustomerCentric Selling® and our concept of Sales Ready Messaging®.

Salespeople are, in many cases, victims of how product marketing rolls out new products. Historically, when a new product is released, the sales team will be brought together for “sales training”. What they are really getting is a product feature dump where, over the course of one or more days, all of the hot new features are crammed into their heads. They leave the training with an in depth understanding of the product features but often no context of why someone would need it. They then start spewing those features, at times completely out of context, when they get in front of a prospect. This is a painful experience for the buyer and, as a result, a fruitless one for the seller.

There is a better way.

Rather than focusing on noun-based product features (what “it” is), salespeople need to transition to verb-based usage scenarios (how people use “it”). In other words, buyers typically will not buy a new product until they understand why they need it (what does it help them address in their business) and how they will use it.


Frank Visgatis
Frank Visgatis

President & Chief Operating Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® - The Sales Training Company