A recently published survey into the reasons why people do and don’t buy billing products reveals the three main reasons to be 1. Legacy systems are too hard to replace (…when, presumably, they could just as easily be cash-cowed (sic). Put another way, budget considerations.) 2. The lack of understanding of the business benefits that would be achieved by a new system (meaning the outcome of the cost/benefit analysis isn’t clear. Put another way, budget considerations.) 3. Well, budget issues (put another way, budget considerations.)
Having read the survey, I then happened to look through a recent issue of a leading billing magazine. It contained five full-page vendor advertisements (and a number of smaller ones) from billing product companies. Not a single one made its appeal on the basis of or addressed the issue of…you guessed it…budget considerations. Hmmmmmmmm.
I have a theory that the complexity of the subject matter of the sort of “business book” you pick up in airport bookstores exists in inverse proportion to the book’s actual worth. In other words, the more the cover screams for attention and is emblazoned with statements about the great import of the findings contained within, the less the book is actually likely to say. I don’t know how many high falutin’, 200 page strategy tomes I’ve read in recent years but in many if not most cases their substance could easily have been distilled into two paragraphs, and without losing any of the nuances at that.
This observation, of course, isn’t universal but then it’s the exception that always proves the rule. And thus my rather low expectations based on book titles were pleasantly exceeded when I recently picked up a copy of “Real Leaders Don’t Do PowerPoint.” Indeed.
One of the insights this book contained was what I think we all ought to consider a golden rule of marketing. It is that great leaders (who, of course, are on behalf of their companies nothing if not great marketers know two things. First, they know what to say and how to say it. And second, they know what to say and when not to say it. Even better, they have the confidence to do just that. Sometimes, lest we forget, silence is marketing too.