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Revealed: Vendors’ worst sales fluff

Gartner's ‘Non-differentiators rarely substantiated with credible evidence’

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Reg readers often show little love for analysts, labelling them over-priced prognosticators with tenuous ties to reality.

But a new Gartner blog post on "Useless Sales Pitch Slides" may win back some favour, as it reveals the six worst pieces of meaningless marketing messaging vendors put before the firm, and those to whom they sell.

Vice-president and distinguished analyst Rolf Jester’s list comprises:

  • Global presence
  • End-to-end offering
  • Solution provider
  • Focused on business value-add
  • Trusted partner for our clients
  • Our people

These terms are toxic, Jester says, because they aren’t in any way related to what buyers want or need.

“They are typically mostly meaningless and irrelevant,” he writes. “They are so common to all sales pitches that they have become white noise washing over the audience. Not only do people ignore them, they actually switch off and miss the unique gems of business value you are undoubtedly about to share with them.”

He goes on to label them “non-differentiators … rarely substantiated with credible evidence.” Worse yet, if vendors try to explain them, “An attempt to do so would likely just show up their emptiness anyway.”

The same might just be said of Gartner’s own “magic quadrant” or “trough of disillusionment”.

Jester seems on safer ground with his point about “our people” as a particularly hard differentiator to sustain, as any company making that claim surely cannot point to rivals’ hiring policies as favouring ex-con junkies with faked educational accomplishments. ®

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