The article posted here is about how businesses are being pulled to be more transactional or create much higher value. It filled up my inbox with questions about how you are supposed to differentiate your offering when you are in an industry that is perceived as being a commodity. The fact that the question is being asked provides the answer. The person asking is missing something.
The Problem with a Great Product
The problem with having a great product is that you believe the product is supposed to do all of the work for you. You want to rely on the product’s features and benefits. More than anything, you want it to be better than your competitor’s products. This is the sin of trying to make selling easy.
Think about this: if Apple has to put on a big show to sell their products, then it may be unreasonable to believe that your product is going to sell itself, isn’t it?
Your product is good. Your competitor’s product is also good. Your company has a good reputation, and so does your competitor. When all things are equal, your dream client is right to choose the lowest price. It’s your job to make all things unequal. Your product isn’t going to do that.
You Are Worth Paying More. Unless You Aren’t.
You are now the defining differentiator. You are the unique value proposition. Fortunately, you are one-of-a-kind original, the like of which the world has never seen. Unfortunately, that by itself isn’t going to be enough to create a preference for you, your product, your service, or your solution.
Let’s say your price is 8 percent higher than your competitor’s price. Everything else is equal.
What do you know that is worth an 8 percent delta over your competitor’s price?
How do you create greater value through the process that justifies the decision to choose you over anyone else?
What about your caring and your execution that would create a defensible case to pay you more money than someone else?
Your Dream Client Will Pay More
Your dream client will pay more, but only if you justify your higher price.
If you don’t know that you are the value proposition, that the value you create is what makes you worth paying more, then you aren’t going to be able to command that higher price.
If you don’t have the chops, the business acumen, and the situational knowledge, you will look to the product to do the heavy lifting for you. If you are unaware that you are the value proposition, you won’t sell in a way that creates a preference for you as a partner.
This is the new reality in business-to-business sales. In an age of accelerating disruptions, you are going to be the defining differentiator.