It isn’t as easy to sell as it once was. You used to need a few attributes and skills. If you had those attributes and skills, you’d do well as a salesperson. But things have changed. They’ve gotten a lot tougher.
Globalization has made it so many of us are competing on a world stage. There are companies and salespeople from around the world now competing for your dream client’s business. They’re every bit as good as you are—and some are even better.
There is an overabundance of companies competing in every segment of the markets, making it easy for you and your company to be commoditized. When you can find a way to differentiate yourself and your offering, that differentiation is easily copied. And some of your clients believe that your relationship with them should be transactional, and that nothing you do is worth paying more to obtain. Many can’t break out of the commodity box themselves.
The Internet has disintermediated whole industries, and while I don’t believe that this has irrevocably changed how buyers buy as much as some claim, it does provide buyers with information and options. If you won’t give them what they want, Google will help them find someone that will.
If you compete on product you aren’t playing big enough. If you are in business-to-business sales and you sell great service and support, you aren’t playing big enough. And now, even producing measurable business results doesn’t make you big enough.
If you are going to be big enough, you have to create a higher level of value. You have to provide the kind of strategic value that helps your dream client move their business. If you are going to be big enough, you have to be someone your dream client thinks of as part of their management team, their brain trust, and their kitchen cabinet.
If you aren’t continuously developing yourself both personally and professionally, you are falling behind. It’s critical that you keep growing. You have to be big enough to deserve the opportunities that you want, and big enough for your dream clients to trust you with their business.
“Big enough” is the only way you can effectively compete with globalization, commoditization, and disintermediation. Right now, being “big enough” is the real differentiator.
Who do you have to be to compete and win in today’s economic environment?
Who do you clients need you to be?
How do you make yourself someone worth doing business with?
What has to change for you to grow big enough?