The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 2 months ago

Differentiate How You Sell

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Sales is a game of inches. How you make your approach stand out from the competition (including do-nothing or do-it-internally options) can set you far ahead, or behind. 

There is as much differentiation in how you sell as there is in what you sell. But how exactly do you differentiate your approach? Tune in to hear five key steps you can take to make yourself stand out from the competition and bring value to your buyers. 

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Don't just work your way through ascript. Approach your conversations with empathy and understanding, and the orders will come. You are listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps youand your team's sell more faster. Will feat your sales leader sharing their bestinsights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth, presented by the team at force management, a leader in BB sales effectiveness.Let's get started. Hello, I'm Rachel Clud Miller. Thank you forlistening to the audibilready sales podcast. We often talk about how there is asmuch differentiation in how you sell as there is in what you sell, andtoday we're going to talk about what that actually means and key steps you cantake to differentiate the way you sell. John Kaplan, this is something elitesellers really strive to do. Yeah, I love the little moniker you putthere. The how you sell can oftentimes...

...be just as important as what yousell, and I'm anxious to discuss that today. Yeah, I think probablyI should say that every one of our podcast episodes will help you differentiate howyou sell, but rest will wrap it up here in this episode, becausewe say often that you know, sales is a game of inches and thosethings you can do to differentiate yourself in the way you sell is part ofthat game of inches. So let's dive in with some ways to differentiate yourself. The first one we came up with really has to do with those initialcalls in your discovery, approaching those conversations with empathy and understanding. What Ilike about this concept is is that we're all sales professionals and professionals who arecommitted to understanding customer needs and delivering highly differentiated solutions to solve those needs.Many times we ask ourselves, so why is it the customers don't always seeus that way and and often when our...

...customers are surveyed about sellers, theybelieve that we're out of touch. They asked buyers, what are your twobiggest challenges and about the people that sell to you, and the surface comeback for decades, you know, those answers have come back the exact sameway. The number one responses they don't understand my business, my pain,my problems and challenges, and the number two responses, they don't listen verywell. And so we've coined the term the seller deficit disorder. And thebest way to differentiate how you sell is to be confident in what you dofor a living and put yourself in the shoes of the buyer. Don't justshow up begging for orders or nagging your customers. Your job is to understandyour customers by listening to them and and don't just work your way through ascript. Approach your conversations with empathy and understanding and the orders will come right. So your discovery isn't just some question...

...talk track. This is what havingabout empathy. Were talking about understanding. It's really guided by the customer,who is sharing key pain points and you have to have empathy for that painthe person's going through. I'm steering that conversation into the pain points that Iknow I can solve. And that brings us to the next point. Howyou differentiate from competitors? Yeah, I mean you know, you know whyyou're different than the competition, but the key way to stand out as aseller is to get your customer to care about that differentiation. They need tosee the value in that differentiation. You just can't state that something is differentand and it becomes a differentiator. Let me give you quick example, yearsago, while I was working for PTC, one of my competitors, in alast ditch effort to save the account, got the engineers focused on our graphicaluser interface. And in the fact...

...of the matter was is that ourinterface was blue and the competitors was green. And and so they got them totallyfocused on this and nothing else. And when I finally sat down withthe economic buyer, the economic buyer shared with me that, you know,he thought that we had a problem and he explained to me, you know, your graphical unit user interface is blue and it's not green. And andthank God I was just like really focused on the power of the value ofdifferentiation in that moment and I just asked the question, can you tell mewhat challenges that creates for you, what a blue screen versus a green screencreates? And he said no, I can't. And and and then Ithat I talked about our differentiation. That was already solidified into their required capabilities. Then was something called Bidirectional Associativity, which meant a change made anywhere inthe process was reflected, e. everywhere,...

...and that was the number one criteriafor them. So so what I then did was that I asked themto stack rank the require capabilities and and you can imagine that green screen woundup on the bottom. So you have to remember your differentiation has to addvalue to the customer. So saying I'm better than the competitor is great andit's great that you leave it, but what differentiates me is a seller iswhen I can get my customer to care about that differentiation and make it partof the required capabilities and it focuses on how it relates to outcome. That'swhat's critical right that that differentiation and how it relates to the outcomes and thatmove you talked about with the blue screen versus the green screen. It wasn'tgoing to really impact their outcomes and you are listening to that rather than sayingwhat do you care about the color for? But really positioning it in way interms of their outcomes was how you...

...got the customer to care about itexactly. And I'm so glad you said it that way because when I firstheard it, I'm glad that my brain, my mouth, didn't say what mybrain was thinking. I actually kind of had in my mind like abig fat so what, and luckily I turn that into so what does thatmean to you, Mr Mrs Customer, instead of just like so what?Blue screen versus screen screen? So there were some additional learning there. Yeah, that's a good, good thing for those of you listening out there toremember when your head says so what, when the customer makes some crazy comment, add on. So what does that mean for you? Absolutely what it'sso what does it mean for you? Absolutely great things to remember there.The next one I wanted to bring up is to share continued value in thesales process. I know it force manage what we have some sales people whoreally execute this one very well. Yeah, I think you know you have tomake sure you're not only reaching out to customers, clients prospects when youneed something. You know, you have...

...to have good reasons to engage.You know, maybe your marketing team put together a piece of thought leadership andyou know that gives you a reason to reach out, or you have anew Webinar to tell them about. You know, make sure there's a reasonand look for ways to continually add value, like conversations with other customers that you'vehad who have maybe solved similar challenges that they're having. Research in theirindustry, a note of congratulations. You know, get creative and add valueand continue to be interesting. Don't Nag people, add value. Yeah.Then the next one is a key component of our command of the message methodologies. We kind of touched it touched on earlier. Keep focused on the positivebusiness outcomes and measurable results you're trying to drive for them with your solution.That should be the focus of every sales interaction. Yeah, I mean youkeep them focused on the measurable outcomes that...

...they're looking to achieve and the requiredcapabilities that will get them there. Your customers are often for wrestled them.They're too close to the pain to really understand how to solve it. Youhave the benefit of helping others solve the same issues and, you know,keep them focused on the greater story. They'll be able to better articulate thebenefits of your solution and they'll look like a hero in their own organization whenthey do fix the challenges, and you'll earn trusted advisor status because you helpthem get there. Yes, amen, okay, John. Finally, ourfinal point. Stay connected. Yeah, this goes back to the earlier pointthat we were discussing on the you know, stay connected. Don't just reach outwhen you need something. Keep the lines of communication open after the deal. You never know where that person will end up, and I like toalways think about communication as a process and not an event. For example,you know, when I'm communicating with an...

...economic buyer, I think about threephases of communication. I think about kind of like prior to the engagement,where I'm really really focused on discovery, I think about during an engagement,when I'm probably more focused on validating that our solution is a match for theproblems and challenges that have been articulated, and then I'm thinking about post engagement, when I'm really kind, kind of focused on proof points, what Icall like sharing the good news and giving other people the credit. So Ilike to think about communication as a process, not an event, kind of abefore, during an after mentality, and I've really, really had greatsuccess on leverage with that. Yeah, you don't want to underestimate that afterbecause you never know in that person where that person is going to end up. So let me wrap this up for everyone out there listening. Are Fiveways to differentiate how you sell. Number...

One, empathy and understanding and discovery. Differentiate in a way that has meaning to you, the buyer. Continueto share value on the sales process. Keep them focused. Keep your buyersfocused on measurable outcomes. And the final one. I'm summing up what yousaid, John, by, say, saying stage heathered. So there's fivethings for you all to write on your post it notes on your mirrors today, but love to wrap it up with a bottom line, John. Yeah, that's a great list, Rachel. You know, the bottom line forme is is we have to remember that how we sell can be just asimportant as what we sell. And all of these ideas today are what elitesellers do. So elite sellers wake up every morning and say to themselves,what are my differentiators and why are they relevant to my customers, and howam I going to get them influenced in to the decision criteria? This isa professional approach to selling, not a series of nagging outreaches, you know, stating things like, and I get these all the time. Hey,John, you must be busy because you...

...have not responded to the seventh femailthat I sent to you in the last two weeks. If you're if you'reexperiencing that type of communication with your prospects, you know. There's your sign.You have to believe that what you do matters. If you don't,who will? Mike Drop, mic drop? Thank you, John, for thisconversation. You're welcome, Rache'll have a great week, all right.Thank you, and thank you to all of you for listening to the audibleready sales podcast. At force management, we're focused on transforming sales organizations intoelite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatablerevenue growth. Give your teams the ability to execute the growth strategy at thepoint of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proof is in ourresults. Let's get started. Visit US at force MANAGEMENTCOM. You've been listeningto the audible ready podcast. To not...

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