Insight and opinion
Jul 2, 2018 ▪ Martin Rockley
Businesses aren’t interested in your help. They don’t want it, because they don’t need it. They’re not incapable. Nor are they infirm, weak or stupid.
Yet we see the ‘help’ word used all the time. Clearly, there are loads of people out there who are only too happy to rely on the trusty ‘help’ word. It’s become the go-to term for traditional B2B propositions, where phrases like ‘helping you grow your business’ or ‘helping you attract more customers’ are the norm. But does ‘help’ always cut it?
Help not wanted
The problem is that for a business, the word itself can be loaded with negative connotations. It can be construed as patronising. It can imply that you believe your business is strong, while theirs is weak. It can be vague, hinting at only half a solution, rather than the complete answer. It can suggest a business is in need of help…but who really welcomes help when you’ve not asked for it?
Intelligence, information, insights
In our experience, what businesses want most is intelligence, information and insights. In other words, the knowledge to make better informed decisions.
This is very different to ‘help’. It’s expertise which is bought in to fill gaps in a clearly defined strategy. And because the business knows exactly what it needs to fill this gap – be it data, marketing, processes, people or any of a host of services – it can go and find it.
Assisting is better
A good example of how to avoid offering unwanted help is the positioning of Experian Business Assist. This online service promises a host of insights, proactively answering real business needs. Crucially, it does so without distancing its own target audience by extending the often alienating arm of ‘help’. With Experian Business Assist, you can have a:
• Safer Business, by making better decisions about who they work with.
• Smarter Business, by being smarter about how others see their business.
• Brighter Business, by attracting lookalike customers to their business.
In other words, Experian Business Assist enables businesses to use B2B data to avoid risks and create opportunities. These are not vague notions, they are genuine business benefits that answer genuine business pains.
So instead of behaving like an over-zealous helper dragging an old lady across a busy road without her asking for help, shouldn’t businesses make every effort to avoid promising ‘help’ to do something and instead deliver firmer propositions that empower a business and support it in making better informed decisions?