Author Jim Collins once noted that ‘good is the enemy of great’ having in mind that companies that ‘do well’ rarely have the incentive to really innovate and push things to the limit. I however more often have in mind the phrase by Voltaire – The better is the enemy of the good. So often I struggle to make a sales document perfect, to take care of the layout, to explain everything in detail. I’m a perfectionist, with all the burdens of that word, and believe me – the final result is rarely perfect. My point is – in B2B no one really cares about the perfection of the sales pitch – people are too result and value driven to care about the bells and whistles. Even in startup/VC pitching you will get better results with a good product and black-and-white slides than with mediocre product all wrapped up in celofane.
I was really impressed by the marketing style of the guys from Automattic/Wordpress. One email, the offer (including the pricing) in bullet points, no formatting (plain text), no images. It was actually easier to digest, forward around and make comments because of all of this. Such style removes all of the reasons for procrastination, speeds up the work (you can keep offers like that in your ‘canned responses‘ in Gmail) and makes tracking everything easier (no files flying around). But most of all – it is faster to get it done. And sending 10 imperfect offers to prospective partners/clients beats the hell out of sending 2 that are polished – just because of natural conversion, only some of your prospects will be willing and able to purchase/sign at that particular moment. That is why you want to access as many of them as you can. That is why better is the enemy of done.
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