What are your points of difference?
It's true! You can't sell anybody anything, you can't change people's minds, you can't persuade them to do something against their will and you can't get people to buy based on price alone. We have to be crystal clear about what our job really is. We think that we have to apply pressure, use special psychological techniques and force people to buy from us. Regardless of whether you are a supervisor, a salesperson, a waitress, a service provider or a marketing manager your job is the same: Your job is to help people make good decisions - and the more informed you are about your products and services, the more valuable you are to your customer. You can make your life a whole lot easier starting right now by stop thinking that you have to be clever and use some secret selling technique to get people to buy from you. All you have to do is answer this question; Why should I buy from you? When someone asks that question of you what they are really asking is "I need help making a good decision!" You might sell the exact same thing as everyone else, but you point out the differences of why your product or service is unique to their business. Sure everyone else is selling the same thing; however, what makes yours different is you have asked your clients about what they want from the product. You have listened and taken notes and figured out what your customer is trying to accomplish. You then give the customer the solution to their problem. The best part is, it has not cost you anything because you are not charging extra, just helping the customer make a good decision. You are adding value. The "point of difference" of your product is the extra service you offer. This extra, in a sense, is your consulting service. And as a customer, when I can get free consulting service with a product or service the decision of who to buy from is easy. Even if it is a meal in a restaurant. The secret of persuading people is that there is no secret. Just call on enough people and show them why doing business with you is the best decision they can possibly make! And if everything is equal, the deciding factor will be the fact that YOU go with the deal. How am I supposed to learn everything about the products I sell when there is so much confusing information that I have to muddle through? The answer - points of difference. To increase your product knowledge, compare points of difference in the products. Each point of difference can be viewed as positive or negative depending on what your customer is looking for. Each point will change the price and the value of the product. Considering the number of line items it takes to maintain a competitive inventory, gaining sufficient product knowledge is a long, slow process. With new products and programs being introduced continuously and old ones being changed or discontinued, it becomes a real challenge to stay on top of the necessary information. The secret of gaining product knowledge is to compare points of difference. What is the difference between the new and the old? What is the difference between your product and a competitor’s product? Each point of difference will change the price and the value of the product. As a professional salesperson, you must be able to sell value-added products. What kind of definition would you come up with when you are asked the meaning of “Value-Added Selling”? The best answer is to know the points of difference and sell your differences as a benefit. A salesperson who can answer objections with good solid facts and product information will outperform the person who “wings it” every time. To gain the respect of your customers and earn their business, product knowledge should be a daily activity. To increase product knowledge continually ask questions that help customers make the right choices. Read the trade journals and clip articles that contain helpful information for your customers. All product knowledge has to be translated into customer benefits if it is to be of value to the customer. When selling, it does little good to focus on the features of the products or services offered. It makes little difference how long your company has been in business, how large your facility is, or how many employees you have unless it can be used to solve your customer's problems.