It was recently announced that the most annoying saying in the English language is “whatever”. At first I dismissed the trivial nature of the finding with my own thoughts of “who cares” and then I realized the reason this has become so prevalent can be seen as a warning to sales people & marketing departments everywhere.
So why is “whatever” so important? The reason is quite simple, today every North American man, woman, teen and child who has a computer, cell phone, land line, TV and radio is constantly bombarded with messages promising better skin, happier life, better health, faster speeds, more profit and the list goes on and on. Our reaction to all these messages becomes one of indifference regardless of their importance or bearing on our lives.
According to research done by Media Matters, in the 1970’s a typical adult had the potential to receive over 600 ads on a daily basis. With the exponential increase in the use of technology that figure has exploded to over 3,000 ad exposures daily from all forms of media. Even if this average is off by 50% you and I could still receive over a half a million ads each year.
Why is this important for sales people? The reason is quite simple. When you are approaching a new customer whether it’s by phone, email, advertising or in person your message has to somehow break-through the noise & clutter of all the other messages and move from “whatever” to “tell me more”. When you review your sales ready messages you need to determine without personal bias whether your target market is thinking whatever or are they prepared to say tell me more.
Robert J. Weese
B2B Sales Connections