beat the competition

The crème de la crème

Have you risen to the top of your selling game? Do you intend to?
No matter how complex your product, no matter how esoteric your service, selling it still depends upon remembering and following the basic tenets of Sales 101.
What are those tenets? Well, I’m going to tell you, but be forewarned; when you read them you’re going to think to yourself, “Duh. I already knew that”. Which I’m sure you do, but do you put them into practice? Are you aware of when and how you’re using these tried and true commandments of selling? Think about that hot-shot.

  1. Be able to simply define your differentiator. You must know why you’re different in order to confidently tell your prospect why. This means doing your homework. This means keeping current with what your competition’s doing. This means really understanding the delivery process of your product, not just memorizing what marketing told you to memorize.
  2. Know what can and can’t be done with your product and why. You don’t have to promise your prospect that your product will cure cancer in order to sell them- but you do need to give them clear expectations so they understand exactly what they’re getting for their money. Can it be customized? Does it function at peak efficiency only in very specific environments? Is it missing certain bells and whistles that the competition has because your company knows the fluff doesn’t actually enhance the product? All this stuff is okay, and sales resistance is easy to overcome as long as you are able to discuss the specifics openly and in an informed manner with your prospect. Customers appreciate knowing both the pros and the cons of what they’re buying. Doesn’t mean they won’t buy it…in fact, it often means they’ll come back to you when they’re ready to upgrade your product, because you gained their trust by being honest with them.
  3. Sell and provide value to your customer. Don’t tell them why your business is better and more profitable than your competition’s, tell them how your business can make their business better and more profitable than their competition. Get the picture?
  4. Provide continued service after you’ve made the sale. Customer service isn’t just the responsibility of the folks answering the phones in the call center. Follow up with your clients after your delivery or engagement has been completed. Did they get what they thought they were buying? Do they have any feedback about the ease of use, functionality, compatability, etc.? if they could change one thing about the product or service, what would that be? This kind of information is crucial to take back to R&D and marketing so that your business can continue to provide value to your customers.
  5. Build relationships with your prospects, your current clients, and anyone you’re introduced to via your prospects and clients. I hate to drag out this tired old word, but “Networking” wasn’t a fad. It’s how you expand your reach into your targeted market. How well do you connect with your clients? Do you remember the spouse’s and kids’ names? I see you rolling your eyes, but I’m serious! This is not ‘old school’, this is what the sales world is about. People want to be remembered. People want to believe that they have made a lasting impression on you. People want to feel like their business is important to you. Use formal stationary to drop your customers and acquaintances a quick notes if you’ve been out of touch. It makes a difference! This is why customers will be more loyal to a salesperson than they will to a product brand.