“Be different so that people can see you clearly amongst the crowds.”
Mehmet Murat Ildan
What sets you apart from all the other salespeople who do what you do?
Follow along with me for a moment…
Let’s say there are 15 salespeople in your marketplace – they all provide similar services, solutions or products to that of yours; what makes you different?
What makes you standout?
Why should someone do business with you?
I know what you’re thinking… And quite frankly, no one cares how long you been in your industry, how long your company has been in business, the awards they’ve won nor how they provide the best customer service.
Sales professionals do not hide behind their company, products or their services. They know they are the defining factor.
Business executives are quite savvy. They will not engage in a business conversation or buy from you if they don’t understand why they should pay attention to you.
What sets you apart from your competition? It’s up to you to prove it.
I’m concerned as many in sales struggle with what sets them apart from their competition.
Think about this one… How will you grow your business in a sea full of sales sameness, where you and your competitors are viewed as interchangeable and where many do not have particularly warm feelings towards you?
Sales professionals would rather be unique and stand out, as opposed to being me-too and blending in with the other empty suits.
WHY DO SO MANY IN SALES SOUND THE SAME?
We have a severe epidemic occurring within the sales world. The sales world has been bitten by the “sales sameness” bug.
Unfortunately, many salespeople are telling a similar story — company centric with generic reference and promises being made to help a customer’s business.
Sales professionals seek to be different, not just better. Because being different makes them better.
How are you being viewed in the marketplace?
Stop hiding behind your company, your products and your service!
Stop with the generic statements, canned pitches and pretending to be interested.
Sales professionals avoid swimming in the sea of sameness
WHY SHOULD SOMEONE SPEAK WITH YOU?
To be effective in opening business conversations you must speak the language of leadership. This language clearly conveys your ideas to your audience.
Use business language, not sales language which clearly communicates to the hearts and minds of those whom you wish to move to action, your clients and ideal clients.
You must realize that decision makers have more knowledge and power than ever before.
They have access to information about you, your company and your competitors in ways that weren’t available years ago.
Attention spans are short. You must come to the realization that you have less time with executives to create and demonstrate value, as they are arriving to the business table with a much higher bar for you to clear.
I love this quote from Ellen DeGeneres,
“I personally like being unique. I like being my own person with my own style and my own opinions and my own toothbrush.”
BE DIFFERENT… BRING VISION AND VALUE
I encourage you to start engaging in conversation with executives by offering a compelling vision of the future by looking through the lens of their company and how they can prepare themselves for the future.
Bring vision cemented in a deep understanding of the trends shaping their market, their industry challenges, what their competitors may be doing and how this can help transform their company.
Rise up, accept that ‘CHANGE’ is necessary to succeed in your profession or fall into the sea of sameness.
Executives today expect, crave and demand, sophistication!
You must lead with intelligent insight and exciting ideas that teach them something surprising and new. And if don’t, you have now become an endangered sales species by giving them little more than what they’ve already read online.
Find some alone time and think about these two questions…
- How can I differentiate myself with insight?
- Where can I get insight?
A sales professional knows what makes them valuable, do you?
TO DIFFERENTIATE, YOU MUST DEFINE YOURSELF
To avoid swimming in sales sameness, you must make a commitment to yourself. You must be willing to look inside yourself and ask yourself…
- What makes me different?
- What words would I use to describe myself?
- What words would others use to describe me?
Once this happens, then I encourage you to make a commitment to yourself to becoming a learner and seek out the knowledge necessary to do your job better.
Success in sales comes to those who possess the kind of knowledge that makes them a trusted and necessary resource. It’s not only being a resource around the product or service in question, but also around the buyer’s company, products, industry and their competitors.
Sales professionals are educators. However, you can’t become an educator without being a student first.
You must gain a thirst for new knowledge. You need to stay up-to-date on new developments, always looking for trends and changes before they happen. Bring to the business table your knowledge and how you can help people do better business.
Education differentiates the sales professionals from the sales pretenders
A sales professional doesn’t overcomplicate things. They equip themselves with the right combination of data and human insight to become a problem-solver.
SWIM IN A DIFFERENT OCEAN
It’s sad and concerning that so many in sales fall into the me-too category. They hang out with other me-too reps. They swim in mediocrity. They complain about the same things.
They all hold hands and sing Kumbaya while they drown in the sea of sameness.
What would a business executive uncover if they decided to do some research on you?
Business executives are sleuths.
- How are you demonstrating your expertise?
- Are you actively engaged in business conversations?
Why on earth would someone devote time to speak with you? Where does this leave you?
Louis D. Brandeis said it the best,
“In differentiation, not in uniformity, lies the path of progress.”