What To Do When The Buyer Has Too Much Information

What exactly can we do with the sea of noise surrounding the concept of “caveat venditor” or “seller beware?” Let’s make this very actionable.

There are two relationships we need to understand and remember: curate/solve and different/better. We’ll take this out of order to explain, but you should memorize it in that order.

Solving implies someone already knows the right question and just needs an answer. “Need paper towels? Use Bounty (or Brawny, or Generic Brand X, etc.).” Solving is for yes/no answers and black/white issues. Curating implies “the honest answer is it depends.” If we reduce the argument to a simple “solve” and the person is aware of the nuance, we’ll risk looking like the man with a hammer who thinks every problem looks like a nail. By acknowledging the nuance, we gain credibility that we know and understand the broader issues.

In a world of caveat venditor, curate first, and solve second.

Better implies we can use scales and measurements that we’re already comfortable with. As a rule, any time people default back to price as a proxy for value, they are thinking in terms of better. If Brawny paper towels are on sale but you only ever use Bounty, will you switch? Different implies what happens when you refuse to switch in the face of an alternate signal (like a sale price). Different represents a mentality that the normal scales and measurements don’t apply. Different is always our objective destination. Think of all luxury goods and services as examples (Gucci, Tesla, etc.).

In a world of caveat venditor, determine how something is different first, and better second.

The masters are able to tell a story that shows mastery of the available information, curating the key segments, and wrapping up with a custom feeling solution that stands out in the buyer’s mind.

Now that you know these labels, start to look for examples and ask why they are successes or failures. The more we think in terms of caveat venditor and how to curate/solve with different/better, the more effective we can all be.

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