Viva la C.U.S.P.

by Apr 25, 2021

Viva la C.U.S.P.

Going werewolf hunting?

I ran across an old term the other day that had been “reborn”. A salesperson was talking to a product person within their company and they were asking for the product person to simplify things for them and give them the one “silver bullet”. Now, that is an old term that had not been used much lately it felt like. Then I noticed that the term seemed to crop up in every sales/product conversation that I was participating in. Seems like it must have cropped up in social media somewhere and it had morphed to become the question of the day. So, what is it? Wikipedia defines silver bullet as…

In folklore, a bullet cast from silver is often one of the few weapons that are effective against a werewolf or witch. The term is also a metaphor for a simple, seemingly magical, solution to a difficult problem: for example, penicillin was a silver bullet that allowed doctors to treat and successfully cure many bacterial infections.

Now, going back a bit, I know that a silver bullet was also the calling card of the famous Lone Ranger (not sure who he is…. Check the web).

And in the early days of technology and massive technical product innovations that happened daily (then, not now), a silver bullet was the ONE THING, of a technical specification or feature that made that product truly unique and stand out from all else. When new products were introduced the marketing folks doing the intro work would often highlight the “silver bullets” that were key in each product introduction. In theory, the silver bullet was on its own so compelling that the products would sell themselves.

So, in the real world, forgive me as I burst that bubble…. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A SILVER BULLET. Not in the realm known as selling at least!

There is no easy answer, there are no simple solutions that are of value, there is not ONE THING, that will differentiate what you have to offer your clients versus every other supplier of stuff in the universe.

You co-create value with the client that stems from a deep understanding of their business challenges, their own resources, their own marketplace, and their own clients. You dig deep to understand them on all levels. Only when you can achieve that “place” do you deserve to open up the conversation to solutions. No room for easy answers here. Not ONE thing! Many elements to making a difference that matters to the client and that they acknowledge.

You have to do the HARD work. Unless you simply want to peddle products and compete on price and delivery, and that’s OK too… your choice!


Viva la CUSP!

Mitch Little

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