Gartner Blog Network

Create Calmness, Clarity, and Confidence – The Anti-FUD

by Hank Barnes  |  June 23, 2015  |  2 Comments

I can’t tell you how many times I hear sales reps and clients talk about the need to create FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) in their prospects’ minds.  Every time I hear this, I cringe a little.  Gee, I wonder why most buyers don’t trust providers?   Maybe the focus on FUD is a big factor.

I get it.  If a buyer is well down a decision path, and you know it, then trying to uncover issues that they may not have thought of in order to get them to reconsider their plan makes sense.  As long as those issues are real.

Trust is a huge factor in buying decisions. And FUD tactics, even when they work, are creating an emotional connection around negative ideas.  It certainly does not build trust.


As an industry, it’s time to abandon FUD tactics.  Instead, embrace what I’ll call the 3C approach.

Rather than fear, strive to create Calmness.

Rather than uncertainty, provide Clarity.

And, rather than doubt, instill Confidence.

Put them all together and you are building trust.  You may be delivering the same general messages and insights, but instead of getting buyers focused on what could go wrong, you focus on what can go right–by working with you.    You paint a detailed picture of how to be successful.  And you guide them to a  better, more trusting, place.

This can be done even if you are “attacking” a competitor.  When you expose a potential issue with their approach, don’t “drop a bomb” and leave it to the buyer’s imagination.  Provide clarity on the cause of the issues and, just as importantly, things they could do differently, with you.

I’ve never believed in bashing competition.  Acknowledge them, but win on your own strengths.  Win by helping buyers see how they can get needs addressed and value delivered by you.

Abandon FUD.  Create Calmness, Clarity, and Confidence.


Additional Resources

View Free, Relevant Gartner Research

Gartner's research helps you cut through the complexity and deliver the knowledge you need to make the right decisions quickly, and with confidence.

Read Free Gartner Research

Category: future-of-sales  go-to-market  

Tags: competition  marketing  messaging  sales  

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
6+ years at Gartner
30+ years IT Industry

Hank Barnes explores the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. Using that customer-centric lens, he advises those responsible for marketing technology products and services, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and startup CEOs on next practices to drive success for their customers and their business. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Create Calmness, Clarity, and Confidence – The Anti-FUD

  1. Cindy Cripps-Prawak says:

    As someone on the purchasing side in government, thank you for this posting.

    As our budgets are slashed, personnel layed-off and we are encouraged to innovate, lean-out and go digital, the last thing I need to hear is FUD.. The vendor who can bring calmness, clarity and serenity (oops, I meant confidence) is bringing more intrinsic value to my table and hence better value to my organization.

    • Hank Barnes says:

      Thank you for sharing the buyer perspective, Cindy. Providers—this is what your buyers are dealing with…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.