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Differentiate and Change the Way You Sell

Differentiate and Change the Way You Sell - SalesLatitudeImagine if you could differentiate yourself by changing the way you sell. Don’t rely on the differences in your product or service, but change the way you sell. Even though it is almost 2015, there are still so many sales people who push product superiority as a key differentiator. As if the demo is the entire sale. I’ve heard it a million times: “Clients know if the demo is “good” or “bad” depending on how well the sales rep tells their story.” But how one person views your products and services versus another can vary depending on their needs, past experiences, and the knowledge they bring to the table. However, so many times sales reps begin the conversation with what they believe differentiates their offerings from their competition. They do not take into account that the “new” functionality that just was announced in a product release may have been in the client’s previous products and services for several years. Or, that the key differentiator is about minimizing risk of implementation, and not at all about the product or service. David Brock states it well in his blog, You Can’t Get What You Want by Focusing on What YOU Want. He says it seems so simple, yet almost all the time we focus on “What’s in it for me” when we should be focusing on “What’s in it for the customer/partner/etc.” What if you were to talk with a client to better understand what they are trying to accomplish, how they are planning on doing it, and understanding their goals, risks and priorities, from their point of view? And what if you were to sit back and think through how you may possibly solve their specific goal, or challenge an approach they have set forth based on your previous experience of a like type of client? You would definitely be able to differentiate by changing the way you sell. Of course, you will say, “But I have to build my pipeline, work deals and close deals. I don’t have time to waste on those that are not buying now. I have quarterly quotas to meet.” But it has been proven that over time, if you can talk to enough people at the right levels of the organization – who can potentially buy your products and services, and they are confident that you truly want to help them achieve their goals – then you will build your pipeline and work deals that have a better chance of closing since you know your client, and have had early discussions with them to influence the path to the client’s success. Now, that’s a differentiator! Janice Mars, SalesLatitudeJanice Mars, principal and founder of SalesLatitude, is a senior business and sales executive with more than 30 years of experience helping companies build successful sales teams. She has parlayed that experience to help her clients to improve their sales processes, accurately forecast revenues, ensure focus on winnable opportunities, and attain consistent results. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter

Janice Mars, Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude, is a sales performance improvement consultant and change agent focused on growing top performers to impact bottom line growth. With more than 30 years of experience as a senior business and sales executive, she helps companies build successful sales teams by maximizing their time and resources, selling from the buyer’s point of view, and strengthening the effectiveness of leadership. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter


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Janice Mars8 years ago

December 12 2014

You are very welcome Dave! I read your posts regularly and wanted to highlight this one since it was so on-target with what I was writing. And, yes, the stats back up the facts that the buying experience is so critical today. Thank you for sharing.


Dave Brock8 years ago

December 12 2014

Outstanding post Janice! Thanks also for the shout out. It's interesting that research data backs up everything you say in this post. CEB has shown that 53% of buyer decision making and loyalty is based on their buying experience--that is how we engage and sell to them. Our products, company/brands, even pricing are all table stakes--they're important, but the real differentiator is how we sell to them. Great post!


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