Sales Professionals Understand That Knowledge Is A Competitive AdvantageDec 06, 2020
"The greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy is a positive and engaged brain."
According to Wikipedia, competitive advantage is defined as, "The attribute that allows an organization to outperform its competitors."
Let's drill down on this one more layer... What are the attributes that allow you to outperform your competition?
You see, to find a lasting competitive advantage, look for something your competitors cannot easily replicate or imitate.
What is your competitive advantage?
Each one of you have a competitive advantage. How many of you know what it is?
Let's face it, there will always be someone better than you. This applies to your personal and professional life.
- There will always be someone who will outsell you
- There will always be someone who will be more successful than you
- There will always be someone with more skillset than you
Jack Welch said it best,
"If you don't have a competitive advantage you do not compete"
The clear, defining and undeniable competitive advantage is you. It's not your products, your company, your service or any solution; it is all YOU.
- What makes you tick?
- What makes you come alive?
- What makes you different?
Mind Set + Heart Set + Knowledge Set = Clear Differentiation
We live in a digitally driven and social media crazed society. Let's look at LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Is one better than the other?
These popular social networks are successful in their own right. It is because of their differentiation - all provide value in their own way.
Again, what makes you different? What is your competitive advantage?
I believe that knowledge is one huge competitive advantage for sales professionals.
Here is the million-dollar question... And let this one sink in for just a bit.
Who has more knowledge within your client base, you or your competition?
Are you starting to smell what I may be cooking?
CONSUME DAILY DOSES OF KNOWLEDGE
Sales professionals understand that knowledge is one huge competitive advantage.
I would encourage you to double-down on the following areas.
Is there a gap between what you know and what you need to know within your client base?
- What business knowledge have you gathered about your clients?
- Are you bringing business knowledge to your clients?
"In today's commoditized business world, customers only care about one thing: value. To offer real value you must stop being a salesperson and become a businessperson who sells."
Marc Miller, A Seat at the Table.
When it comes to business knowledge, how much do you know about your clients' business?
Answer the following questions...
- Are you reading their company reports or articles about them?
- Are you following their business market trends?
- Are you allowing your clients to teach you their business?
- Are you gaining a solid understanding of their initiatives, goals, dreams and desires?
- Are you learning the terminology that they use within their business?
Sales professionals make a commitment to self-educate themselves about their client's business.
Right now, at this very moment, how much institutional business knowledge do you have with your top 5 accounts?
Building meaningful relationships and connecting with your clients is mission critical to your sales success. We as humans crave and value relationships. The same can be said for sales professionals. They crave and value their client relationships.
On a scale of 1-10...
- How well are you personally engaging with your clients?
- Are you authentically investing in building meaningful relationships?
- Are you doing what they believe is necessary? Would you even know?
Let's take this one step farther...
Outside of decision makers and influencers, how many people and or relationships have you developed inside your client base?
I am concerned with the relational gaps that many have within their client base.
How many times have salespeople said this, "I own this account", "Hey boss, don't worry, my relationships are rock solid" Then all of sudden the relational carpet gets pulled out from underneath them.
Sales professionals realize this...
The more people they know within their client base, the more they grow with their client base.
If we all can agree stories sell then let's think what would happen if you collected, bottled up and repurposed your client stories? Would you open up more genuine, real and authentic conversations?
I strongly believe sales professionals are relationship connectors. They connect to the hearts and minds of their clients through stories.
Storytellers are great story collectors.
- How many of you can share your clients' stories?
- How many of you know how you have helped your clients?
Are you sharing your stories within your client base or are your competitors sharing their stories? Would you even know? Would your clients even tell you?
“We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.”
Jimmy Neil Smith, Director of the International Storytelling Center
KNOWLEDGE IS THE GAME CHANGER
Successful sales professionals seek to be different, not just ‘better’. I believe being different makes them better in the long run.
How much institutional knowledge do you have within your client base?
There are some many ways to leverage your differentiation. What makes you different from all the other empty suits running around in sales?
Knowledge is power.
The more you learn about your clients, the more you earn from your clients.
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