A reminder: Sales is a competition. It is a zero sum game. One salesperson wins, another one loses. In some contests, a number of other salespeople lose. Because this is true, selling well requires that you create a preference for you, your solution, and your company. It is your job to discover what you need to do to create that preference and do it.
One of the ways you create a preference for you as the salesperson your dream client is going to buy from-and work with to produce better results-is to help them compete.
Better Business – Are You Strategic?
What do you know that can help your dream client produce better results than they are producing now?
What you know can create a preference for you and position you as someone with ideas that will help improve your dream client’s business. If you can translate what you sell to your dream client’s most strategic initiatives, you elevate your status and increase your preference.
If what you know ends at your company and your product, creating a preference will be very difficult. Vendors are not a strategic advantage; they’re commodities.
Better Fit – Are You Someone I Want to Do Business With?
Napoleon Hill wrote a book called Think and Grow Rich. In that book he suggested that successful people have a pleasing personality. Read: Likable.
This idea isn’t popular in the age of insight, but popular or not, people still want to do business with people they know and like. It very much matters the container in which the insights and ideas are delivered.
If this strikes you as “relationship selling,” then you should know that economic value and relationships are not mutually exclusive. You can possess deep business acumen and serious chops and still have excellent commercial relationships.
Your job is to create a preference, and you are increasingly a bigger part of that value proposition.
Better Salesmanship – Are You Creating Value for Me?
Your sales process doesn’t mention the word “preference.” Neither do any of the methodologies you might have bolted on to your sales process. Regardless of the absence of the word, the intention needs to be there.
You have to ensure that the intention to create value exists during every interaction you have with your dream client. The more valuable they find the time they spend with you, the greater the preference you create. The more you help them understand their world, develop a compelling case for change and a vision of the future, identify possibilities and understand trade-offs, and resolve their concerns, the more you look like the right partner.
How you sell will determine whether or not you are a vendor or a strategic partner. Being a better salesperson helps you create a greater preference.