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The Sales Buzz Issue 213 - HS2 Cost £50Billion – Sales pitch worst I’ve ever seen
September 19, 2013

HS2 Cost £50Billion – Sales pitch worst I’ve ever seen

HS2 is estimated to cost £50Billion and has the worst sales pitch I have ever seen.

I’ve been using this government backed sales presentation in my training sessiona as an example of how not to sell, see what you think...

With a product that will cost £50Billion to build you would think they would have invested in a decent sales and marketing pitch.

Take a look at some of the basic mistakes below.

retail customer service

I would expect any average sales person to do better than this and here’s why...

HS2, is the British governments planned new high speed railway.

The estimated cost of the project is soaring at speeds faster than any of the trains will ever reach.

People’s homes across the country are going to be demolished to make way for the new train lines.

The government is trying to convince people that there will be benefits from the investment of £50Billion.

Here are some of the main benefits and the way they are presenting them.

Would you sell the benefits in this way or is HS2 the worst sales pitch you’ve ever seen.

The Benefits...

Here’s the main benefit from the early press releases and other presentations:

‘A catalyst for economic growth, shortening journey times and making it easier to do business around the country.’

The way this message is presented breaks 3 basic rules of sales and marketing.

1. Whether you are selling or marketing, when you present a benefit show how the product will give the buyer that benefit.

What exactly does, ‘A catalyst for economic growth,’ mean?

What does it do for the person being sold to?

How will a high speed train become a catalyst for growth?

Will new businesses open up because people can get to a destination quicker? I do business around the world via video conference calls so how will this faster train make it easier to do business in the UK?

Always link a benefit to the feature that can realistically deliver that benefit. Explain how the feature will give the customer the benefit. And make your leading benefit one that is clearly defined and needed by the target audience.

2. When you present benefits do not pitch more than one at a time.

Pitching multiple benefits in one statement can leave the customer unsure if the elements are different benefits or if the second one is an explanation of the first.

HS2 say that the new train service will be,

‘A catalyst for economic growth, shortening journey times and making it easier to do business around the country.’

Is ‘shortening journey times’ a separate benefit from ‘a catalyst for economic growth’ or is it an explanation of how the service will deliver economic growth.

And what about, ‘making it easier to do business around the country.’ Is that a benefit of short journey times or is it a separate benefit.

Very confusing, poorly defined benefits, the worst sales pitch I have ever seen.

3. Whenever you can, support the benefits you are presenting with facts and figures.

Make your benefits measurable, quantify them.

This tells the buyer exactly what they can expect.

It’s the difference between;

‘You’ll make great savings,’

and ‘You’ll save 11.5% on current costs.’

In the statement; A catalyst for economic growth, shortening journey times and making it easier to do business around the country, where are the specifics?

How much growth can be expected and in what areas.

In some of the marketing literature it does show the journey times but there is no mention of what benefit this will be to anyone. The reader is left to work that out for themselves.

So I can get to London from the North of the country half an hour quicker, so what.

There are no train time examples so will I get there early enough to do a day’s work, what time will the first train run, can I travel overnight. How many hours a week will I save.

And how about ‘making it easier to do business around the country? Give me an example. What will I be able to do that I can’t do now? If I can do business faster show me how much faster, quantify it in hours and minutes or pounds and pennies.

What does easier mean? How do you measure easier? Maybe they mean more comfortable and the seat cushions are thicker, then tell me how much thicker.

And that’s just one statement

The HS2 mailshots, presentations, and press releases are full of sales lines that are just as bad as the one we have dissected. Is this really the best they could come up with to get the public to buy-in to a scheme that will cost £50Billion.

If you like me are in sales you will see why HS2 has the worst sales pitch you have ever seen.

I manage sales team for a living and have done so successfully for over 20 years. A sales training technique I teach my teams is to look at sales pitches and marketing presentations and learn from them.

Look for mistakes and errors, and how you would have done it better. You can the other sales training i give my teams free at Sales Training...

I'm Stephen Craine from the website

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