How well do you present yourself and your company to a prospect? Are you too busy bashing your competition to tell your prospect what YOU have to offer? Stop telling your prospects that you're the best choice and show them you are with an approach that your competition won't be able to duplicate! Forget about the competition!
There are two methods of presenting yourself to a prospect:
A. Speak negatively about their current vendor to make your own company look good in comparison.
B. Show off your innovative concepts and solutions to present your company in a new and extraordinary way, without comparing yourself to the competition.
Which option do you think will most likely lead to a sale?
I hope you chose B.
For some reason, many salespeople think that speaking negatively about their competition will make themselves look great in comparison. They see their prospect admitting their dissatisfaction with their current vender and running to you, their new hero, with open arms.
In the real world, this doesn't happen. Speaking negatively about your prospect's current supplier will only evoke negative emotions. This will actually distance you from your prospect and the possibility of making a sale.
Consider common questions you may ask your prospect with method A:
-Are you paying too much?
-Are there hidden charges that you didn't notice?
-Are you getting the type of service that you deserve?
All of these questions will produce negative emotions from your prospect. You will make your prospect feel ignorant and misinformed about a decision they made in the past, and make them feel stupid for doing business with their current supplier. What gives you the right to come into their office and start pushing buttons to make them feel this way?
Show that you are different
Basing your entire sales presentation on your competitor's shortcomings will not only make your prospect feel bad, it will also make you look bad, because the approach is amateurish and lackadaisical. Customers know that it takes creativity and preparation to make an original and valuable presentation.
If you want your prospect to think you are different from your competition, then you must bring something new to the table. Don't ask the same questions and use the same comparison technique that other salespeople use. Find out what makes you different and let that be the driving force behind your presentation.
What do you have, other than price and service, to single you out from your competition?
Do you have something that will make them more profitable in their business?
Do you have a unique concept that your future customers would enjoy hearing about?
Of course you do! Now use it!
Once you decide what your creative focal point should be, construct your entire presentation around it. Put those negative comments on the back burner and get excited about your creative approach to the sales presentation! Your enthusiasm and preparation will carry you from the initial phone call all the way to the signing of the contract.
Take it to the top
Choosing a presentation that is different from your competition will give you the distinction you will need to set up an appointment with a prospect at the top of an organization.
With this attention, you will be in a position to speak with someone from the company who is not bound by existing budget restraints and has the power to make the decisions necessary to award you with business.
Without this distinction, you would be stuck speaking with an administrator of the company, who would probably be more concerned with price than fresh business concepts. Their lack of authority and desire to make radical changes will often bring up obstacles that you are most likely used to dealing with. These can include current contracts that have yet to expire, budget restraints, and the lack of gumption to alter the status quo.
Those who actually run companies are interested in new concepts that can make their business more profitable and more productive. Coincidently, these people are the ones with the authority and desire to make changes when they have a compelling reason to do so.
Having a presentation that is positive and focuses on your innovative solutions and ideas will grab the attention of the actual decision maker. By abandoning the old fashioned presentation method of using comparisons, you will mark yourself as a leader in your industry. You will be seen as an expert in your field and will win sales at margins that support the level of service that your customer expects. In this position, you will be practically untouchable by your competition.
Your prospects will see that the creativity and preparation of your presentation reflects your business practices. They will assume that you will be just as unique and thorough in their fulfillment and service after the sale. This will separate you from the competition and facilitate a level of trust and loyalty that can't easily be matched. Because of your presentation, YOU will get the attention of the decision maker, and YOU will get the sale!
Tom Richard is the author of a weekly ezine on selling skills titled, Sales Muscle. To subscribe to the free ezine send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org