Do you Talk to Prospects about Functionality or Solutions?

Lightbulb for blogWhen I started working 5 1/2 years ago at Fisher Technology promoting TaskCentre to the Value Added Reseller (VAR) Channel all the conversations centered around the products functionality and the benefits that these enhancements offered to their customers.

Over the past year or so I have noticed a real shift away from those types of conversations. No longer do I talk in terms of workflow, alerting or document automation which often resulted in blank stares of incomprehension, especially as technology speak was not (and still is not) one of my strengths!

I now find that the conversation flows because I am addressing solutions. For example I can have a conversation with a VAR about whether their customers are using shopping cart solutions. And if they are, do they want to be able to integrate their shopping cart into either their Customer Relationship Management or Enterprise Resource Planning system. And I see (or hear if I am on a phone call) their internal light bulb switching on as they can immediately see the benefits. Now, I am offering a solution that is so much more meaningful than offering functionality, which is not as tangible.

It has been an interesting learning curve to get to this point and I am sure I still have some more bends in the road to travel, but it is great to be able to talk to prospects in language that they and I am comfortable with and not have to bamboozle them with functionality and tech talk that can mean so many different things to so many people.

I'd love to get your feedback. Do you agree? Do you talk about functionality or solutions with your prospects?