While it may sound counterintuitive, your uniqueness doesn't hinge upon the way you talk about your company and product. Learn about ways that help you better relate to customers and understand their needs.
- You may or may not have control over your product offering, but one thing every sales person has control over is the way the customer experiences you and competitive differentiation starts with you: your attitude, your behavior, and your language. You have the opportunity to create differentiation, not only in the way you talk about your company or your product, but also in the way you relate to your customer and your understanding of their needs. There are three ways you can differentiate yourself as a seller: business acumen, language, and presence.
Let's do a self assessment on how you rate yourself in each of these areas. First, business acumen. Whether you sell in a B2B space or directly to consumers, business acumen is crucial. Ask yourself, do I understand business in general? What's a PNL? What happens in operations? In a business meeting, how quickly can you ascertain how your client makes money or how money flows through their business? You're only able to do this quickly if you studied a lot of other companies and have a lot of business models in your head.
If you sell directly to the consumer, do you have an understanding of their current reality? In a B2B space, do you understand the various roles in an organization and how they all contribute? Do you recognize how your offering impacts all of these areas of life for your customer? The second place you can differentiate yourself is with your language. Now, it might not seem like a big thing, but your language is the key to how people experience you and it's present in every single customer interaction. Your language subtly tells your customer is this a high end experience or just a transaction? Ask yourself, do I use the same language as everyone else in my business? A differentiated seller has a much larger vocabulary.
They provide more specificity of language. Now, you don't need to rattle off six syllable words, you just need to broaden your vocabulary and it comes from being well read. Ask, are you telling interesting stories? Would you want to listen to you for more than five minutes? And finally, do you communicate concisely? The third area where you have a major opportunity to differentiate yourself is in your presence. I'm using the word presence here instead of rapport because a lot of sales people mistakenly try to buddy up to their buyer and that's not true presence.
Presence requires more confidence and a difference intention. Instead of trying to be your buyers best friend, you want to establish yourself as a trusted expert. The success is in the combination of your business acumen, your use of language, and your presence. Do you show up with confidence and enthusiasm, not confidence about your product, but confidence about what's possible for the buyer? Your presence is the best version of you. You may be gregarious or you might be more quiet and both of those are okay.
It's the calm confidence in either of those that constitutes your presence. Business acumen, language, and presence make you stand out in every interaction.
- How can you differentiate your organization?
- Setting yourself apart
- Differentiating your language
- Adding value before collecting revenue
- Differentiating during the sales process
- Unpacking the buyer's journey
- Differentiating in the first meeting
- Talking about the competition
- Customizing your deck
- Differentiating your written proposal
- Asking for the business
- Differentiating inside your organization