THE FIRST FIVE STEPS TOWARDS DIFFERENTIATION

differentIf you do and sound like everyone else, why would anyone choose you over someone that they are dealing with now?  Further, if they are not dealing with anyone else now, why you and not one of the other clones of you?  By being one of the collective, you are bringing your product and/or service into the dangerous realm of being a commodity.  The only way you will ever win in that scenario is by being cheaper than anyone else.  Those clones will then, offer it cheaper than you and so on until someone wins the race to the bottom.  As I have mentioned before, that is the race you should never want to win.

The only way to get out of participating in that race, is to set yourself apart from those participants.  In other words, don’t be a clone, but rather, differentiate yourself from them.  Set yourself as a sales professional and not ‘just’ a sales person.

Here are the first five, of many, to start you on that road.

1.    If you are doing what your competitors are doing, then stop doing it immediately.  This goes back to the first couple of questions I asked at the beginning.  Start separating yourself by setting a different standard than everyone else.

2.    Don’t sell your prospect anything.  I will let you read that one again. Selling is about relationships; it is not about selling. Selling is about finding the right fit. How do you know that the prospects even want, or, can afford your product and service if you jump right into sales mode?  Pretty much what all those in step 1 do which you no longer do.

3.    Don’t listen to your prospect/client.  Again, like step 2, I will let you read that again.  What happens today with our technology and easy access to social media and information is we have lost the ability to listen.  What we do now is listen to attack, malign, hurt, discredit and respond. What we all need, and especially us in our chosen profession, is to ‘hear’ and understand.  If all we do is listen to respond, how can you understand the real issues and challenges the prospect/client are having? You can only do that by understanding and by hearing, you understand.

4.    Questioning. This does not mean by just asking any question, but rather, asking the important question at the important time. There is also the proper structure to be incorporated into the question. Each question must not only have a purpose, but it must be engaging and different from any questions they have heard before. You know you have mastered this when someone says to you: “No one has ever asked me that before.”

5.    Investing in yourself. This is the most critical steps in taking that leap from sales person to sales professional. The evolutionary change of our profession happens every six months or less.  As early as 20 years ago, there may have been a change every one or two years. Today, if you miss a change, the chances of ever catching up becomes increasingly difficult and the longer you wait, the further behind you get. Read trade journals from your particular area of expertise, books about your profession, even the old ones give you an insight of what is not working today, but you may be doing. How you make it change is by the investment.

As Jim Rohn said: “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”


Written by Joe da Silva

Joe da Silva is a Business Adviser/Trainer/Coach to multi-million dollar companies in Canada as well as internationally. He has uncovered the many secrets to Sales and Business Success over his 40 years in the field. He shares his experience and knowledge with fellow professionals to significantly increase their proficiency, productivity, and profitability through group and individual training, seminars and ongoing sessions such as The Action Suite. Joe’s passion and goals are to mentor individuals with their professional challenges by shortening the learning curve and showing them how to grow into their own success. (JoedaSilva.ca)

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