Buyers don’t want to see sales people anymore. They want to research on their own and find their own solution without ever having to talk to a sales person. Why? Sales people all sound the same. What they offer sounds the same. So if it is all the same, what do they need a sales person for? The sales people who differentiate themselves in ways that matter to their buyers will at least get the opportunity to demonstrate their value. Otherwise, you’ll always be competing on price. Ugh!

What are some symptoms when there is little Differentiation?

Your buyer can’t see any difference between your solution and your competition’s solution

It’s a sad fact but buyers say that only 3% of the salespeople that call upon them truly differentiate themselves or their offering. That could be a reason why buyers are doing more shopping on-line for your products or services than ever before. If your introductory message doesn’t provide a good enough reason for them to talk to you, then you won’t even get a chance to participate.

I can’t tell you how many times I get messages from salespeople that I just delete. Why? Because they aren’t telling me anything of value to me or even thinking about my needs. If I have done my homework, i.e. checked it out on-line, I have a pretty good idea of what I want. But if someone calls my attention to something that perhaps I haven’t thought about, an unconsidered need, I am compelled to listen. A proactive message that begins by introducing an unconsidered need enhances your persuasive impact by 10%. After all, I don’t know what I don’t know and they do.

You always seem to be in a price war with your competition

Buyers say that there is about a 70% overlap between what you offer and what your competition offers. Unfortunately, they don’t see enough differentiation between the solutions, or the difference isn’t something that is important to them, so they resort to getting bids, or putting out the dreaded RFP. It is very difficult to differentiate yourself or your company/product in either of those scenarios.

The seller that doesn’t know their clients' and prospects’ business needs and personal motives will find themselves spending a lot of time preparing these quotes. If they’re not the lowest price, they will more than likely lose the sale. This increases the cost of sales significantly when you factor in all the resources used in preparing the quotes or RFPs.

What if you pointed out an unconsidered need? Everyone else will be responding to the stated need, which tends to make what is being offered a commodity. What if you focused on what you can do that is different from the competition and that provides them with value that is important to them?

You keep losing business to “Do Nothing”

A buyer has three options when making purchasing decisions: either buy from you, buy from your competition or Do Nothing. Sadly, 60% of deals in pipelines are lost to Do Nothing rather than to competitors. People have a natural aversion to doing something different than what they are currently doing. If they can’t see a real benefit, or better yet a way to avoid a disaster, then Do Nothing it is.

Here again is another opportunity to differentiate yourself and your company. You have to fight their inertia and disrupt their status quo by driving home the need for change, creating an urgency that is too difficult to ignore. Your solution needs to be not only better than the competition’s, it needs to be different than the competition’s

 Do you want to differentiate your products and services in the market?

 The Path to Growth Starts Here

What is Differentiation?

Differentiation is being able to present yourself, your company and your product in a way that brings value to the buyer that is different than the competition’s.

The value must be from the view of the buyer, not the seller. In order to differentiate, knowledge of your client, his/her company and industry is king. What you can learn ahead of time through research and what you can learn through discovery can provide what is needed to present your unique value applied to their need.

Why is Differentiation Important?

Not only is differentiation important when presenting solutions, it is becoming more and more important just to get your foot in the door. People are very protective of their time and don’t like to spend it with the professional visitor. They want to know how you will help them get from point A to point B, avoiding disaster on the way. If you can get them from point A to point C, a place they didn’t see before you illuminated it, that’s even better.

Sellers are not very good at differentiation. Buyers will tell you that most everyone looks the same. But be a part of the 3% who do differentiate and odds are you will achieve Trusted Advisor status.

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How Can SEG Help?

Strategic Enhancement Group has been helping sales people learn the skills to be able differentiate since 1984. We can help your sales team learn how to differentiate by:

Conducting deeper discoveries to uncover buyers’ needs, including the known, unstated and unconsidered needs

As any experienced salesperson or consultant will tell you, Discovery is both an art and a science. Without a plan, it’s easy to miss critical information as well as nuances that can help you shape your value proposition to the client.

Making strategic business calls to uncover buyers’ critical issues and create offerings that address those business priorities

Instead of being focused on the factory floor, and calling solely at that level, learn to think wider, higher, broader. To do that you need to understand what was most critical to the organization. We help salespeople gain the skills to have conversations at the C suite level, so they could tie their solution’s value proposition to their strategic priorities.

Creating solutions that clients truly value to develop real differentiation

Take ownership for creating trust. Facilitate the customer’s buying process. Make sense of complexity. Your efforts will produce ongoing, long-term relationships that present multiple opportunities to sell and service while enabling your customers to buy how they want to buy.

Implementing a competitive strategy that aligns your organization closer to the customer than the competition’s strategy does

Earning the business of a new client is always challenging. Changing vendors, suppliers or service providers is often time consuming and expensive for the client so how do you increase your odds of winning their business?

Delivering business value to the client and the client’s organization beyond that of a technically correct solution

Despite knowing good Discovery and listening skills we often stop Discovering right when the information is flowing from the customer or prospect. How can we listen more and talk less?

Client retention is about continually finding ways to provide additional value. It is the human touch component of your product or service that differentiates you from everyone else.

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