marketing + sales: Your Differentiating Sales Factor Makes for Sales Success
While doing some recent sales training I was asked the following question: "Ryan, if every one of us in this room offers, for the most part, the same things at the same price points, what make one of us better than the other?"
My answer was simple: the salesperson. Every salesperson has what I like to call a "Differentiating Sales Factor (DSF)." This is what makes him or her unique. See, people can copy your ideas and duplicate your offerings, but they cannot be you. They cannot replicate your DNA. Basically, if your offerings are the same as the person you are competing with, then you are the X-factor. The question is: Which one of you is more skilled in your craft? It is that simple.
Because we live in a world that operates on information overload, it can be difficult to get and keep someone's attention. This is where your DSF can help. Learn to connect with others by being yourself. We all face stress and need downtime. We all want to work with people we trust and who make our lives easier. We all like to laugh and enjoy what we do. So, why don't we "sell" to others in such a manner? And, yes, you are selling the brand of you—your DSF.
Approach your sales activities with the mindset of a successful marketer. Strong marketers do research, are creative in approach, gather quality information, promote their brand and demonstrate clear value over the competition. Many of you have heard of B2B marketing or B2C marketing. I am going to propose a new concept to consider in 2014: H2H, or human-to-human marketing. You must demonstrate your DSF and value to the other person in a way that is universal. Be passionate and creative. Have integrity and strong character. Add some fun or humor to the process of work. Be determined and persistent, but not a pest. Finally, be authentic, so they see you as the real deal and unique in your approach. Such universal qualities that you make your own help to build trust. People do not buy printing, promotional products, etc. They buy trust, headache relief and peace of mind. And they are buying you, as you are the face of where they are putting their trust.
So how do you look at problems? Do you always see a solution that you can bring to your customer in a creative way? Do you look at obstacles as things that cause you to give up or as opportunities to help your customer? All of these things are what make up your DSF. When thinking of your DSF you can envision your BRAND (the Barometer reading of your Reputation, Attributes, Name and Distinctiveness).
How do you define your sales? Your DSF? If a job comes down to you or three competitors (who all offer mostly the same thing), do you bring enough differentiating qualities to the table to win the business? If not, have you asked yourself why? What tools do you need to improve on? Here are three recommendations:
1. Read the things that your target prospects read. If they are marketing directors, read marketing-related blogs and publications, so that you can continually provide them valuable information.
2. If prospects are not returning your voice mails or emails, work on ways to say less about you and more about them. Your messages must be short, creative and compelling.
3. Think zig-zag. Most salespeople are going to do things the same way (zig); do not be afraid to go in a new way (zag) and show your creativity, so that you stand out and the buyer remembers you. I encourage you to build, nurture and grow your DSF to be the best salesperson you can be.
By Ryan T. Sauers
Ryan T. Sauers is president of Sauers Consulting Strategies. The firm consults with printing- and promotional product-related companies across the U.S. Sauers is working on his doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and is the author of the top-selling book "Everyone Is in Sales," with another book in the works. Sauers is a Certified Myers Briggs Type Indicator, DiSC Practitioner and Certified Marketing Executive. He writes national feature articles in publications and speaks at many national conferences on such topics as sales, marketing, communications, organizational leadership and social media. Sauers is also an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and organizational strategy to adult learners. For more information, visit www.ryansauers.com.