How To Differentiate Your Solutions
I am often asked if there is a single best way to differentiate one's company and products and/or services when making a sales presentation.
Let me start by stating that there is no single best way to do most things in life. However, let me provide my perspective as to how to best offer a differentiate solution when making a sales presentation.
First, start by focusing on the customer and their wants and needs, some of which you may have to make them realize they have through your questioning and conservations.
Seek to listen versus being heard. Seek to be interested versus being interesting. Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.
Once you have listened and understand then you can develop a unique solution that completely addresses exactly what the customer told you they want versus running with the pack and presenting a generic product and/or company centric pitch.
Most contractor salespeople, fortunately for you, stink at selling. They mistakenly think customers care how much they know from a technical perspective and tend to overwhelm customers with techno-mumbo-jumbo. Customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
These same salespeople then do a data dump of things that confuse or intimidate the customer and sound eerily similar to what everyone else that comes through the door says. The customer reacting to the fear of making a bad decision makes an "apples to apples" comparison deciding on the only perceived and distinguishable difference between the various offerings and says to themselves "I am not really sure who has the best solution so I'll just go with my gut, play it safe and take the lowest price or a middle bid.”
We spend so much of our lives trying to fit in. From an early age we strive to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. In the process of fitting in, we lose sight of the fact that we have a God-given right to be different - a genetic mandate to stand out. You are the only thing like you for all of time, a one-shot deal, a bona fide individual without carbon copy.
Unfortunately, 82% of salespeople fail to differentiate themselves from the competition.
So, why do salespeople have such difficulty standing out from the competition? In my estimation, it’s because most companies and their salespeople spend so much time measuring their success relative to the competition that they fail to take the time to create an edge or think about the stand-out difference(s) that make them outstanding.
With so many salespeople from a myriad of companies offering a variety of products with a multitude of features (many of them seemingly similar), advantages and benefits and various price points, it’s no wonder customers experience purchase anxiety and apprehension, shop around, and haggle with salespeople.
As a salesperson you must first learn to differentiate yourself and your sales approach and process before differentiating your solution in order to be successful.
Products, services, and companies don’t differentiate themselves, people do. Somewhere in the course of the conversation with a prospect you must identify differences and how to benefit the prospect in a way that is truly unique and important to the prospect.
Simply put, the difference today resides in buyer expectations and your ability to meet or exceed them. Mistakenly, most salesperson seek a sales tool, glib or catchy one-liner, polished presentation, unique product, etc. as a means by which to gain an edge and differentiate themselves and their company.
Buyer value is now achieved through insight and self-discovery, guided by the expertise of the salesperson and the buying process. Sales is no longer just about developing customer needs and differentiating a product...for today's buyer, value resides in the expertise that a seller provides, the buying process and the relationship. In other words, it’s about the overall experience and how it makes customer feel.
Ultimate success in sales comes from helping the buyer see unrecognized problems, find unanticipated solutions, capitalize on unforeseen opportunities and leverage the capabilities of the your organization and the distinctive talents of its people.
In the customer’s mind, your expertise does not come from how much you know about your products and services, the industry, or the competition; your technical prowess; or how you can do a job for less than anyone else.
Your expertise is perceived genuine by a customer when they sense that you truly understand them, their problems, needs and wants, and can address them with the their best interest in mind. And, your solution, while possibly more expensive than others, is the only one in their mind that completely addresses everything they sought and more when they began the buying process, and they feel they’d have to be a fool to do business with anyone else regardless of price.
Therefore, the answer to your question is not to modify to your presentation to gain sales differentiation, but rather to qualify the customer more thoroughly and develop a better understanding of their specific problems, needs, and wants and why they are important and their prioritized interest level in addressing each of their concerns and their commitment mentally, emotionally and financially to investing in a proper and complete solution.
Once your qualification process is different your solutions, recommendations and presentation thereof and the customer’s perception of the value you provide will achieve a position of being different in the customer’s mind because you will have a more refined concept of the customer’s psyche and everything will adapt accordingly to offer a customized experience and cement the relationship – two very important criteria in high-ticket sales.
In the end, understand that you cannot sell anything to anybody as it is out of your control. People choose to buy or not. You can only manage that which you can control, which is your behavior in the sales process. Through more effective questioning and thorough qualification, not presentation, you will gain a measure of sales differentiation and success few salespeople ever attain.
Start focusing on the front end of selling rather than the presentation and contact me if we may be of assistance.