Don't Make Me Pay to Hear You Pitch

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So, I recently asked the twittersphere for recommendations for a contact management app for professional offices and solopreneurs. A bunch of different options were repeated often enough for me to check them out. And, 37 Signals’ HighriseHQ and NetSuite CRM were among that group

The first thing I did was go to each website to learn more. And, without even diving into the details of the apps, I was taken aback by a very impactful difference in the marketing sequence that immediately said one vendor gets it and the other doesn’t.

Here’s what I saw when I clicked over to the HighriseHQ website:

Picture 11

There were a series of short instructional videos on a singe page that did a great job of walking me through the major features of the app. Within minutes, I got all the information I needed about the product.

Next, I clicked over to the NetSuite CRM homepage and here’s what I found:

netsuite

Ugh! No details, no demo videos, no tours…unless you’re willing to pay them by giving them something of value, my e-mail address, for the privilege of hearing their pitch and getting a trial that requires you to enter a bunch of information on the next page, BEFORE being given access to anything.

Yeah, I get why they’re doing it. They’re trying to build their list.

It’s one thing when you’re talking about a highly individualized, high-ticket service that would make personal interaction during the sales process far more critical, even value-added, for both people. But, grabbing info, so you can squeeze prospects by phone or e-mail because you’re not confident that your presentation will deliver enough value on a commodity-based product = not cool.

It’s like the web version of the old “pay to receive my catalogue” scam.

Attention Companies: CONTACT INFORMATION IS CURRENCY!

You can’t do this and expect to keep winning when you are going head to head with a number of competitors (also SugarCRM and ZohoCRM) with very good products who don’t play those same games. Especially, when your solution is priced above the savvy competitor with a far better, free, value-added, non-confrontational, completely ungated sales process.

Note to everyone who wants my business and my money…

Don’t make me pay to hear your pitch.

So, what do YOU think?

Let’s discuss…

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6 responses

6 responses to “Don't Make Me Pay to Hear You Pitch”

  1. […] the original:  Don’t Make Me Pay to Hear You Pitch 11 Aug 09 | […]

  2. Bruno M says:

    Great post Jonathan, all great points. This is probably a great example of what happens when marketers lead the way. Like you said: Don’t make me pay to hear your pitch. The nerve! Prove to me you add value, then I’ll gladly give you my (already over-spammed despite my best attempts) email address.

    The old “hide the uselessness of your offering” behind an email address request has been used too often by disingenuous people/businesses online since forever and companies coming out with new products today need to be aware of the history there. Any business that does that today gives me the impression that they are hedging against failure (we could always sell the emails to make extra money).

    Having said that I realize, we all need to realize, that there are people online today that have much less experience with the Internet that we do, I mean much less. These people would not be scarred with memories from Web 1.0. But I highly doubt these are the people that would bring the most value to Netsuite CRM.

    And having said that, I can’t agree more that contact info is currency, but you have to pick your battles.

    Like Seth Godin says, it needs to be Commitment before Success.

  3. Bill.D says:

    I like your point Jonathan, but something isn’t right here…. the HighriseHQ
    website you are showing is NOT the home page (it’s the “tour”) – neither is the one for Netsuite CRM. What link did you follow?

    I don’t have experience with either package, but you really should compare apples to apples (i.e.: homepage to homepage) – especially when setting up a “good” vs “bad” scenario.

    BTW – I really appreciate your podcast and am enjoying your book!

    Bill.D
    .-= Bill.D´s last blog ..Internet Marketing anyone? =-.

  4. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Bill.D – Fair enough. Though a single click gets you to the tour page without having to offer and contact info. If there was a separate tour or demo button on NetSuite (even from the homepage you linked to), I would’ve linked to that, but alas, I’m not ponying up my contact info just to get it. Everything they do requires contact info for a trial or demo.

  5. Bill.D says:

    I agree with you about the tour videos. Having a software product and not allowing the potential customers to “see” it on their schedule and at their convenience is counter productive. That said, it should be made clear that the demo on the Netsuite site requires contact information because it is a live demo with a real person on the other end (or at least that is the implication). Contact info would be required for that relationship.

    The company I work for has several high end software packages and we use live (scheduled) demos as well as introduction videos – something all software vendors should have available. Netsuite should consider this as it would allow the customer to have control over the level of relationship in the early stages…

    Peas (kind of like “peace” but with more fiber!)…

    Bill.D
    .-= Bill.D´s last blog ..Internet Marketing anyone? =-.

  6. CT says:

    Great post Jonathan, all great points. This is probably a great example of what happens when marketers lead the way. Like you said: Don’t make me pay to hear your pitch. The nerve! Prove to me you add value, then I’ll gladly give you my (already over-spammed despite my best attempts) email address.

    The old “hide the uselessness of your offering” behind an email address request has been used too often by disingenuous people/businesses online since forever and companies coming out with new products today need to be aware of the history there. Any business that does that today gives me the impression that they are hedging against failure (we could always sell the emails to make extra money).

    Having said that I realize, we all need to realize, that there are people online today that have much less experience with the Internet that we do, I mean much less. These people would not be scarred with memories from Web 1.0. But I highly doubt these are the people that would bring the most value to Netsuite CRM.

    And having said that, I can’t agree more that contact info is currency, but you have to pick your battles.

    Like Seth Godin says, it needs to be Commitment before Success.