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Moore advocates pain for gain

Visionary jumps the Genunga Gap

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Geoffrey Moore, chairman of consultants The Chasm Group and well-known author of Crossing the chasm -- which became the little red book of Silicon Valley --spoke to an overflow audience at the IDC European IT Forum in Paris. His theme was marketing and selling high-tech products to mainstream customers. The "chasm" is the gap that innovative companies must cross in order to reach lucrative mainstream markets. Moore's messages were refreshingly clear to his attentive audience: when an innovative company is trying to sell, it should not talk about itself; it should talk about the potential customer and its problems; and it should not assume that all prospects have the same set of problems. Moore recommended not talking about happiness from a product installation, but talking about pain. Different selling techniques are needed for selling to visionary, early-adopter prospects compared with pragmatic prospects. Moore believes that the vendors that capture the pragmatists will win, because they are in the majority, but it is important to generate good press reports with successes in marketing to the visionaries. Different approaches are necessary for each group. Visionaries tend to adopt something new across the enterprise, whereas pragmatists adopt a product one department at a time. Integrated suites will attract visionaries but point products appeal to pragmatists. Compelling reasons to buy include for competitive advantage, or to fix a broken business process. ®

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