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Three questions about the reasons

In the Holy Trinity of tech marketing, we talk about three fundamental questions that every B2B business should be able to answer well (Who the hell are you? Why should I care? And why should I believe you?) .

Well, there are three more questions – three why’s – that are just as important to answer even earlier, as soon as you have the attention of an ideal prospect.

We call them questions, but if you do this marketing thing really well, you can actually anticipate the prospect’s need to ask in the first place. So in that sense, these are three messages that you have to send all the time.

Here is:

Why now?

Marketing asks people to change their lives.

But the people to hate change.

We even have a word for the people who ask us to change our lives: they annoying. (A fundamental reason most people hate marketing. Much of it is trying to get us to think about something we’d rather not think about).

Of course people will change. But they will only do so when the cost of do not doing it exceeds the cost of doing it. (“Cost” means things like money, time, disruption, missed opportunities…).

In other words, we’ll change when the world has changed enough to force us to. (We dig that deeper into the compelling, terribly titled but a little clever content for still prospects).

It means, « Why now? » is probably the most important question every B2B marketing team must have a fantastic answer to. (That’s why this is the first of five messages that make up The Galvanizing Story that your B2B brand really, really needs).

Before we can sell our widgets, we have to sell the change in the world that makes our widgets necessary.

This change in the world must be real, convincing and recognized by our prospects.

Ideally, this is a new twist on a set of trends that no one would dispute.

Your « Why Now » is your wake-up call to the market. Your « Hey, look! There’s a new dynamic at play. You have to answer it. »

A good “why now” is a powerful thing that can open up markets.

A bad one (or none at all) creates a headwind that forces all of your marketing to work a lot harder.

Why you?

This is where an imperative begins to transform into a relationship.

You sold someone on the change in the world. What they do next is quite important.

Are they leaving to learn more about this new dynamic from someone else, or do they stay here with you and dig deep to find out more?

This is not yet the ultimate question: « Why buy from you? ». This one comes before that.

That is why Listen for you? « , » Why read your content or watch your videos? « , » Why take your business seriously as a source of information? « 

If you already have a relationship with this prospect and you’ve earned their trust, you’ve got what it takes.

Otherwise, you need to send strong signals that make people think:

  • « These guys are smart »
  • « They get my market and my world »
  • « They seem to be focused on this challenge – they are experts »
  • « They know how to explain things well »
  • « They seem honest »
  • « They seem to like what they’re doing. » (See Mojo).

The first Why was about the world. This one’s all about you.

You have to make people feel like you are a good source of information and insight into the opportunity that the change creates in the world.

the feeling.

You don’t have to yet to convince them things. You don’t need to spray your « Value Prop » on their faces.

You just need to send the Trusted pheromones. AT to win their attention and commitment instead of assuming you already have it.

While this may seem like a high bar (it kinda is), it’s nowhere near as high as the « Buy Me Now » bar.

But most B2B marketers treat the moment of trust as if it were the moment of buy it now. Which, of course, seriously undermines the moment of trust.

The key to answering « Why you? » at this point it’s walking more than you talk.

Don’t say: “We are customer-centric!”… Just help them now.

Don’t say you’re an expert share your expertise. (By demonstrating your expertise, you will reveal everything, for better or for worse: if you really are not an expert, you are toast).

In fact to be smart and helpful and good at explaining things and most importantly honest. Incredibly honest.

Why do not?

This one is counterintuitive.

It asks you to become fully aware of all the reasons why an ideal prospect might do not buy from you.

Some will be bad reasons. Fears. Misconceptions.
These need to be addressed in your marketing.

Some will be for good reasons. Things they appreciate and you don’t offer.
These need to be corrected in your product or explained in your marketing.

Most marketing teams tend to just focus on these things. They are uncomfortable talking about it. Even bringing them up on internal Zoom calls makes you feel cynical.

But the best marketers go legal on their reasons for not buying – they become the world’s foremost experts on their own real or perceived disadvantages.

The goal is to become even better than your nastiest competitors at picking out your worst attributes (or stubborn myths).

It might sound masochistic, but a lot of marketing teams fail for exactly this reason: They don’t adequately overcome their prospects’ most important objections because they haven’t invested in comprehension these objections.

To give you a head start, this article, Understanding Why People Shouldn’t Buy Your Products, lists twenty possible reasons to put you off. Everything is good fun.


There you have it: three questions you need to be able to snap.

And here’s a fourth and a fifth free:

Can you answer all three now?

Can everyone on your marketing team?

[Pause for your soul to pause and choose a path at this existential fork in the road].

[Cue existential soul music. I’m thinking Us and Them from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon but you’ll no doubt have your own.]

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