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How To Fight Above Your Weight Class (Part Two)

Anthony Iannarino
Post by Anthony Iannarino
September 8, 2010

To fight above your weight class, you have to believe and you have to take actions based on that belief. There are three other things that you need to know about fighting above your weight class.

It’s About Ideas

Your prospective clients are dissatisfied. The have business problems, challenges, and opportunities that they need to deal with, and they are trying to choose the right partner to help them get the results that they need.

The biggest competitors in your space don’t have a monopoly on ideas. They don’t have a perpetual exclusive right to being creative in solving problems. It’s more likely, in fact, that the opposite it true. You both have systems, process, and solutions in place that create value for your clients. But making adjustments across a behemoth bureaucracy isn’t easy—and it isn’t likely.

Your biggest competitors are a big ship with small rudder. Your ship is a little smaller, but you have a giant rudder. You can be nimble, and you can skip the bureaucracy and get to straight to executing your ideas to produce results (in fact, I bet you can write down three examples of how you are already doing so).

The right ideas win deals.

It’s About People

Executing those ideas and producing results is about people. Your largest competitor has plenty of people. They have plenty of really good and smart people. But you have plenty of good and smart people, too.

You don’t to have the same number of people or more people to win deals. You have to have the right people, with the right skills, and with all of the passion that is required to produce the outsized results your clients have grown to expect from you.

Your biggest dream clients want your best ideas, and they want your best and most passionate people on their team. Deals are given to the salespeople with the ideas and the team with the passion to execute and produce results.

Your largest competitors have no monopoly on passion. In fact, too many people choose to appear “professional” and in doing so they check their passion at the prospect’s front door. Mistake! Forced to choose between two people, one who “wants the deal” and the other who “really, really, really passionately wants the deal,” the second has a better shot at winning. Who do you believe is going to make sure that they achieve the outcome that they promised?

The right people win deals.

It’s About Producing Results

Your largest competitor produces results for their clients—and so do you. But when it is all said and done, your dream client is going to choose the ideas, the passionate people, and the best verifiable vision of their future results.

Beating Goliath means that you have to prove that you can produce results that are as big or bigger than your rivals. You have to show that, despite your relatively diminutive stature, you produce way outsized results. Your ideas and your vision has to be something that can be demonstrated and proven; your dream client has to believe that they are more likely to achieve their results with you.

You are getting results for your clients. You need to be able to share how you are getting results with your dream clients. Your proof in the way of references, case studies, and the like don’t have to be from clients that are as big as your dream client; they have to prove that you know how to help your clients achieve the outcomes that they needed and how you remedied their dissatisfaction.

If you fight above your weight class with knock out power, you need to share your record.

For many of your dream clients, the larger competitor will seem like the safest bet. While your larger competitors fight to differentiate and distinguish themselves on size, fighting above your weight class means believing you can win, taking actions based on that belief, and competing on what matters: ideas, people, and delivering results. That makes you the safest choice, and your dream clients will know it.


    1. It’s all about ideas. How do you and your team generate the creative ideas that differentiate you and give you the ability to create a unique value for your dream clients? How do you create, capture and test those ideas?
    1. What are the ideas that you have come up with to solve your client’s most pressing and costly problems?
    1. How do you share your creativity and your ability to generate the jaw-dropping, results-producing results that your clients know you for with your dream clients? Or, do you look and sound like a thin, light, carbon copy of your larger competitors?
    1. How are you more passionate that your larger rivals? How do your dream clients know that you are more passionate?
    1. Do you err on the side of stiff, rigid, professional, and boring and check your passion at the door? Doesn’t that suck for you? Doesn’t that suck for your clients? Do you really think they want stiff, rigid, boring and corporate? What if you were to let your light shine brightly . . . who would you then be?
  1. How do you prove that your ideas and your passionate people produce outsized results? How do you prove that you are a safer choice for getting the results your dream clients need? If you were your dream client and you saw and heard the right ideas as part of the shared vision you helped to create, and if you saw a passionate group of people committed to that vision, what would you need in the way of proof to know that they were your safest choice? How do you get your dream clients that proof?

For more on increasing your sales effectiveness, subscribe to the RSS Feed for The Sales Blog and my Email Newsletter. Follow me on Twitter, connect to me on LinkedIn, or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your sales organization, check out my coaching and consulting firm, B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, email me, or call me at (614) 212-4279.

Read my interview with Tom Peters (Part One and Part Two).

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Post by Anthony Iannarino on September 8, 2010

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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