"It takes nothing to join the crowd, it takes everything to stand alone."
Hans F. Hansen
Let this one sink in for a moment...
Business executives will not engage in a business conversation or buy from you if they don’t understand why they should pay attention to you.
What sets you apart from your competition? It's up to you to prove it. I'm concerned as many in sales struggle with what sets them apart from their competition.
How do you grow your business in a market which looks like a sea of sameness, where you and your competitors are viewed as interchangeable and don't have any particularly warm feelings towards any of you?
Sales professionals avoid swimming in the sea of sameness
Follow along with me...
There are 15 salespeople in your marketplace, all providing similar services, solutions or products to that of yours; what makes you different? What makes you standout?
I know what you're thinking... And quite frankly, no one cares how long you been in your industry, how long your company has been in business, the awards they've won nor how they provide the best customer service.
Stop hiding behind your company, your products and your service! It is you that is the defining factor.
When you are your authentic self you have no competition.
To be effective in opening up business conversations you must speak the language of leadership. This language clearly conveys your ideas to your audience.
Use language which clearly explains your thinking to the hearts and minds of those whom you wish to move to action, your clients and ideal clients. Don't become an empty suit in their eye.
There's a shift occurring and it is making the sales profession much more difficult to navigate through. You must come to the realization that you have less time with executives to create and demonstrate value, as they are arriving to the business table with a much higher bar for you to clear.
They have more knowledge and power than ever before. They have access to information about you, your company and your competitors in ways that weren’t available years ago.
A sales professional engages in conversation with executives by offering a compelling vision of the future by looking through the lens of their company and how they can prepare them for the future.
A sales professional brings vision cemented in a deep understanding of the trends shaping their market, their industry challenges, what their competitors may be doing and how this can help transform their company.
Rise up, accept that 'CHANGE' is necessary to succeed in your profession or fall into the sea of sameness.
One of the biggest things many in sales struggle with is differentiating themselves from the sea of sameness, mediocrity and me-too sales reps.
Salespeople today must become more sophisticated than ever before around what they're selling. Buyers expect it, crave it and demand it! You must lead with intelligent insight and exciting ideas that teach them something surprising and new.
Otherwise, you become endangered sales species by giving them little more than what they've already read online.
Find some alone time and think about these two questions...
A sales professional knows what makes them valuable, do you?
According to the Urban Dictionary, an empty suit is someone puffed up with their own importance but really has little effect on the lives of others. A true empty suit conjures up the image of a business suit of clothing without a person in it who really doesn’t know what they bring to the marketplace.
An executive appearance, presence and attitude may open business doors of opportunity, however; without competence those opportunities can quickly dissipate.
Nothing worse than a sales rep who creates a brilliant value proposition but then can't back it up and clearly articulate it
The new you starts with a deep commitment to becoming a learner and seeking out the knowledge necessary to do your job better.
Success comes to those who possess the kind of knowledge that makes them a trusted and necessary resource. It's not only being a resource around the product or service in question, but also around the buyer’s company, products, industry and their competitors.
You must become an educator. You can't become an educator without being a student first.
The more you learn the more you earn
You must gain a thirst for new knowledge. You need to stay up-to-date on new developments, always looking for trends and changes before they happen. Bring to the business table your knowledge and how you can help people do better business.
A sales professional doesn't overcomplicate things. They equip themselves with the right combination of data and human insight to become a problem-solver.
Leverage data and technology to humanize business conversations
It's sad and concerning that so many in sales fall into the me-too category. They hang out with other me-too reps. They complain about the same things. They all hold hands and sing Kumbaya.
Remove the buyer's mask of uncertainty and become your true self. Become engaged on a deeper level, a more knowledgeable level and become better at your profession than your competition.
Bring insightful business goods to every conversation. Business executives are sleuths.
What would a business executive uncover if they decided to do some research on you?
Would they find someone who is publishing articles in business forums, participating in business discussions, and managing their online brand?
You starting to smell what I am cooking? Why on earth would someone devote time to speak with you? Where does this leave you?
Remove the executive mask of uncertainty bringing to them insights. Show them your understanding of their business and how you can help them allocate their resources in a way that will help them achieve results faster.
Sales professionals avoid being me-too. are you?
You owe it to yourself, your career, your company and most of all your family.
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