You all have come into my office and told me…
- We’re the largest supplier.
- We’re the niche provider.
- Our product comes in every color in the rainbow.
- Our company specializes in certain distinct colors.
- We are the pioneers of our industry.
- We are the leading-provider in our space.
- We are a family-owned business.
- We are a publicly-traded company.
- We’ve been in business 25 years.
- We are locally-based.
- We have offices around the globe.
- We are the fastest.
- We have the best quality.
Some of your sales colleagues grouped these statements into an elevator pitch.
“We are the largest provider offering products in every color in the rainbow. We are the pioneers of our industry and are family-owned. We are locally-based and have the highest quality products.”
By telling me these information nuggets, you thought you differentiated yourself from your competition, but you didn’t. We finished our meeting and I still don’t know why any of the information you presented matters to me.
If you truly want to stand out from your competitors, I want to know one thing and only one thing.
Why the aspect of your company or product that you presented matters to me given my specific needs, wants and desires?
You’re big… Who cares?
You’re family-owned… So what?
You’ve been in business for 25 years… And?
None of these tidbits means anything unless you connect the dots for me. Share why those aspects should matter to me and I’m captivated. Lob those marketing anecdotes at me and don’t be surprised to never hear from me again.
I also offer you some words of caution when presenting differentiators.
Maybe I want to work with a small provider because I don’t want to be just another account.
Perhaps being family-owned concerns me because I don’t have visibility to your financial stability.
Years of experience don’t mean anything, but industry mastery means everything.
I also ask that you stop calling me “customer” if you want to stand out from your competitors. Have you ever looked up the meaning of the word “customer” in Webster’s? It’s merely someone who buys goods or services from another. I know you don’t like being called “vendor,” as it is defined as nothing more than someone who sells. You can’t expect me to believe that you build partnerships when you view us as customers. It’s an oxymoron.
I want to buy. I truly do. I just need to understand why buy from you given all of my choices – including the choice to do nothing. Help me to see the relevancy in what makes you unique and you are well-positioned to get my account.
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