The story of Play-Doh is really a great Challenger Sales Model Story!
While many young kids have played with Play-Doh, most parents would not think of it as a Challenger Sales Model Story. One of the biggest misconceptions of the Challenger Sales Model is that changing the customer conversation about a product or service needs to be challenging or confrontational.
While the name Challenger Sales Model may imply that the process of teaching buyers to think differently about their product needs to be Challenging or confrontational, in most cases it can really be a very friendly and stimulating conversation. Just like the story of Play-Doh.
Back in 1954, Play-Doh was owned by a company called Kutol and was originally grey and made to clean wallpaper. That is until Kay Zufall brought some of her brothers’ product to her Nursery school class to make Christmas decorations. It was a big hit with the kids. They rolled it out and used cookie cutters to make shapes, which Zufall dried out in her oven to make ornaments.
After telling her brother Joseph about the success of the activity, he got to work re-inventing the product as a children’s toy. Now, more than 60 years later, 3 billion cans of Play-Doh compound have been squished and squashed in more than 80 counties around the world.
So if you are thinking that all Challenger Conversations need to be confrontational, consider when Kay and Joe had the conversation that changed the way they looked at their product. I am sure it was anything but confrontational as they discovered a whole new way to sell their product.