Your value proposition. You know it must be compelling to land the sales you want.
You’ve sweated over the details, carefully tailoring each differentiator. You communicate it, and what happens?
The customer tells you they don’t see any advantage and that they’re already happy with the company they use. No appointment. No new sale, no bonus check.
It’s enough to send any salesperson into a tailspin and wipe out motivation to keep selling aggressively.
Think you’re not cut out for differentiating value convincingly?
Think you must lower the price to make a sale? Likely not.
Really, the solution may be simpler than you imagine. Learning the basics to differentiate from competitors so it’s possible to make more sales may be all you need.
Use these suggestions to differentiate your value and land more business.
1. Recognize that just because two competitor’s products are alike, doesn’t mean their value is the same.
My first sales job out of college was selling chemicals (commodities) for a Fortune 500 company. When you sell a chemical solvent like 1,1,1, trichloroethylene, there isn’t anything to differentiate from the other guy’s, or, isn’t there?
Actually, there’s so much to differentiate for a B2B product or service that your test won’t be in coming up with differentiators, but choosing the best ones.
For starters, think on these possible differentiators of value.
Your company’s processes, QC methodologies, storage, delivery, product performance, field support, testing procedures, R&D, peace of mind assurance, reliability, consistency, customer service, responsiveness to a problem…
If you want to create separation that really matters, present differentiated value that links to what the customer cares about, and what you can guide them to care about.
The more relevance your customer sees, the stronger your case for better value.
Now, use the next step to complete your list of the most important differentiators.
2. Make a list of possible differentiators to separate your product or services.
What can you do to fuel your believability, get customer’s to genuinely consider value and stop being fixated on price alone? Take some important steps such as:
- Create a master list of possible differentiators – points of separation that most customers care about.
- It can be helpful to start with a resource like: The 49 Commodity Crushing Differentiators of Value then narrow it down from there.
- Set your product or services apart with a compelling value proposition.
- Tailor your value proposition to fit each customer’s unique need.
The reason most customers hate sales pitches today is because they usually say zero about what makes a company’s value meaningful or different.
Tailoring value through carefully developed differentiators, gives you an opportunity to distinguish your value proposition from the strongest competitors.
Tune-up your differentiation skills
This isn’t brain surgery. It isn’t cookie-cutter simplistic either.
You need a process.
Once you have a set of differentiators that form a powerful value proposition, ask good questions to create a value conversation with your prospect.
A good question makes your prospect stop and think. And customers must think before they make a switch.
Never ask a question you aren’t reasonably sure you know the answer for; and always be prepared with a secondary question that deepens interest.
4. Resist lowering price to satisfy a customer’s demands
Customers want high value, but they also want low prices. To get low prices customers will say, “Cut us a deal because we’re going to buy based solely on the lowest price.”
Don’t believe it. Why? It’s just not accurate.
Most customers primarily use price pressure as a negotiation tactic, and what they actually want is to make an accurate decision about the best value.
Studies have shown that 95 percent of B2B purchase decisions are based on other factors than price, leaving 5 percent of decisions based solely on price alone.
Still, you want to be prepared for handling price push back confidently and convincingly. Getting your mindset ready, knowing what you will say or ask, is crucial work.
When customers make a purchase they want the most value. Stay committed to selling value and resist the knee-jerk response to lower prices.
Make a compelling case for value, communicate differentiators to appeal to what they care about and advance the sale to a close.