Gaining the competitive edge in sales is about developing relationships, understanding the overall objectives and communicating exceptional value. If you are in business, you need to generate sales. If you want to gain market share, you need to generate sales. Today’s customers are not looking for quick fix solutions, they are looking for long term benefits that they will yield over a long period of time. To be competitive, try these five tips:
Collaborative with your prospect
Shifting your focus from “selling” your prospect to working with them to solve their problem without any thought of consideration will definitely give you the competitive edge. Business is about somebody with a solution, solving a problem for another within agreed upon terms. Getting to that meeting of the minds is much simpler if you collaborate and work together to get the deal done. Make your prospect look like a rock star to his organization with a win – win deal sprinkled with tons of additional value and you will have a partner for life!
Develop relationships that will last
A business deal is created by two people who represent their respective companies come together and have a mutual understanding. The key point here is that people put the deals together so use your interpersonal skills to establish trust and develop long term relationship. In addition, connect your prospect with information and other people within your network that he or she may find value from meeting. These connections will yield some of your biggest returns.
Show them real value
Today’s customers buy differently. They are more sophisticated buyers. Have immediate access to information and have a plethora of choices to choose from. Real value is demonstrated when you are able to take the benefits you are offering and turn them into real numbers that can be translated into dollars. A customer only buys when the value of what they are getting exceed the price they are paying so be sure to be able to articulate what you are bringing to the table.
Offer creative and unique solutions
To truly remain competitive, you have to be on your toes and be creative enough to offer unique solutions to your prospects. To be able to do this, you need to use active listening skills so you are fully engaged in the conversation and completely present in the moment. By doing this, you will be able to pick up verbal and non verbal cues that will allow you to position your offer in the most favorable and unique way. Think out of the box and away from the obvious. Sometimes if you simply package the deal differently – with tiered pricing, longer terms, more service etc… you will increase your odds of winning the deal.
In today’s environment, your prospects have so much to select from so make sure you stand apart from the competition and demonstrate why you are different. Having technology, customer service and a dedicated account manager is no longer a differentiator, it is expected as normal business. Stay away from buzz words and industry norms and really use this as an opportunity to build your message around something unique. Think of Dominos Pizza. In a world of pizza shops on every corner, they differentiated themselves by focusing on pain in delivery. “Hot Pizza in 30 mins or less”.
The next time you are engaged in the sales process, try these few tips and see if you gain the competitive edge. Work towards a mutual solution that has real tremendous value packaged in a unique offering and/or business model and you will not only differentiate yourself, buy you will completely eliminate the competition.
Listen to this week’s Marketing Monday on Colloborative Selling.Download audio here