About the OSS that transmits on radio station WIIFM

Nobody is interested in you, your brand or your OSS.

Well, that’s a big negative and confrontational statement isn’t it? You’re probably thinking I got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning and took a big handful of emo pills.

The reality is, all of our customers and colleagues are walking around tuned into radio station WIIFM (What’s in it for me?), so it’s our job to transmit on that wavelength if we expect to be heard.

The example I’d like to talk about today is the OSS NASCAR page. You know the page don’t you? It’s the one in the vendor’s deck that contains logos of all their past customers. It looks a little like the image below, but without the Goodyear tyre hopefully.
Sponsors emblazened on the side of a NASCAR

The NASCAR page is a great social proof persuasion technique, one that shows all the other clever customers who have signed with this vendor… and therefore you should too. But like Spiderman, my cynic senses start tingling when I see a page like this. Of the full page of past clients, it’s likely that very few of those logos represent a scope that resembles my OSS needs. Many are probably using different OSS product mixes, processes, data sources, etc.

The thing I find interesting is that in all the years of seeing vendor presentations like this, I can only ever recall a couple of presentations that ever took the NASCAR page to the next level. That is, to select 2 or 3 of those logos and dive into detail to show how they were similar to my project and demonstrate how they had solved my problems on those projects previously.

That one little step tells me the vendor is not just using a standard presentation deck, but has truly moulded it for presentation on station WIIFM.

And I should point out here that the WIIFM technique is not just relevant to vendors. Not by any stretch. It surely has relevance to your situation too. For example, if you’re building an OSS for internal customers, are you ensuring that it’s built and communicated at their wavelength?

What’s your experience? Leave me a comment below to share your experience of the OSS industry:

  • WIIFM – if you feel the OSS market transmits on your wavelength and addresses your problems
  • IAAT (It’s all about themselves) – if you feel the OSS market only transmits on the wavelength that’s important to them

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