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Your #1 Competitive Differentiator
By John Barrows | May 9, 2018

In my sales trainings I always ask reps what they think their #1 competitive differentiator is.

Most answers focus on specific features, functions, the company history, people, customer service, etc.  These are great but unfortunately, they are things your competitors are saying, too.  If your team is your differentiator, do you think your competition is saying their team is terrible but their product is awesome? If you talk about specific features, don’t you think your competition knows what those features are and how to position themselves against them?  Of course they do.

Regardless of whether or not it’s true, our competition can say or spin information however they want, and they will.  However, there is one thing they can’t say they have, which is ultimately the #1 competitive differentiator for all of us. It’s our customers and the results we drive for them.

Think about it. What do you think my #1 competitive differentiator is? Me? I wish. My good looks? Yeah right. My content? It’s good but there is other good content out there.  None of that resonates more than “I train Salesforce, Google, Tableau and Marketo how to sell.”  It’s also something my competition can’t say they do.

What we (our Marketing departments) say about us is usually ok but rarely believable to a client. A third-party validation is always better.

What our customers say is gold.  This is why the best marketing material we have is our client testimonials.  What kind of results have you been able to drive for other clients like the ones you’re targeting?  If we have this information, we can leverage it throughout the sales process.

Here are a few examples:

  1. Messaging When Prospecting: “We showed XYZ Company in your industry how to drive ABC results, and I’d like to speak to you about it.”
  2. Objection Handling: “I can appreciate your concern. We had another client in a similar situation with similar concerns. After they implemented our solution, they were able to see XYZ results. Would you be open to learning how?”
  3. The Sales Pitch / Presentation: Instead of a powerpoint presentation, tell a story of a client you worked with. This is a far better way of presenting the benefits of your solution than giving a pitch.

These are just a few areas where we can leverage our clients to help us differentiate.

I recommend each of us read one case study a week and get to know how to tell the story.  If you don’t have any case studies, tell Marketing you need them and make sure they get specific results you can point to. Also, don’t wait for Marketing if you don’t have to. Call a satisfied client and ask them, “If someone asked you what value we bring to you and your company, what would you say?”  Then, take what they said and tell everyone else who fits that profile the story.

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