“They just don’t get it”

It’s a comment I’ve heard more than a few times from business owners and sales directors. Usually they are bemoaning the customer’s or potential customer’s inability to see that their product or service is the best choice. Its superior performance; extra features and benefits or increased value for money just aren’t winning the extra sales they should be, because the customer isn’t smart enough or sensible enough to realise and make the right choice.
We’ve probably all had a “they just don’t get it” moment; frustrated at our audience’s blank and uncomprehending faces, or questions that clearly demonstrate they didn’t understand what we have put in front of them.
Is it their fault or it is ours?
Perhaps we didn’t communicate very clearly; perhaps we overestimated how important this is to them right now; perhaps we just don’t understand them well enough to work out whether our perceived advantages really matter to them or not. Maybe our communication style, tone of voice, or support materials didn’t really engage them.
Very often, I find that there is an over-emphasis on the rational feature based elements of the communication, without making the emotional connection that is essential to generate action.
Of course, it could just be that we are talking to the wrong people, but shouldn’t we have spotted that and dealt with it before putting all the time and effort in to communicating with them?
Most importantly, who does it matter to most? I think most times, if not every time it’s critical to us, to the future success of our business, and so we have to take responsibility for making sure “they get it”.