Salespeople are often urged to find out the things that make them different or to differentiate themselves from the competition. Sadly, most of the things they think of are a combination of what is important to them, not the prospect or customer, and are not real differentiators at all.
Take a look at your web site and that of the top five competitors in your space. If you scrubbed away the identity of each provider could you really tell your message from the others? Does anyone ever talk about their bad customer service, slow delivery, improper invoicing, etc.? And even if there are characteristics that you think are gee whiz wow, the only thing that is important is what your prospect thinks about them, not your opinion of what the prospect should think about them.
There are likely some things that truly differentiate your company from the competition, including you as the salesperson.
Now, before you think “Yes, I am the difference; I make the difference” remember that the difference may be negative, not positive when contrasted to your competitor salesperson. And if you can’t come up with a list of differentiators what does that say about you, your company, and your product and service offerings?
The magic in sales is to get your prospect to turn those important differentiators into distinguishing characteristics that separate you and your offering from the competition.
This is done through a Discovery process filled with questions learning about The Outcome your buyers seek. Once identified a top salesperson asks more questions to help them self-discover what the impact that doing business with you has on their goal.
Doing business with a person who can distinguish their service through differentiation creates Certainty, or absence of Risk. They are glad to pay for it if you help them discover what separates and elevates you and your products and services from the competition.
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