Attract the Right Job Or Clientele:
Lee B. Salz provides today’s guest blog, “Can You Use Inspiration for Sales Differentiation Strategy He is a leading sales management strategist and CEO of Sales Architects. A recognized expert in sales differentiation, he works with senior executives and business owners across all industries helping salespeople win more deals at the prices they want. Learn more in Lee’s new book “Sell Different!: All New Sales Differentiation Strategies to Outsmart, Outmaneuver, and Outsell the Competition.”
Lee’s Story: Inspiration for Sales Differentiation Strategy
An excerpt from Sell Different! by Lee B. Salz
I’m often asked how my passion for differentiation came about. Back in 1986, when I was a teenager growing up in Marlboro, New Jersey, a family friend named Dave offered me a summer job. Dave had come up with a creative business idea and asked me to work for him.
He had decided to start a pickup and delivery dry-cleaning service. Dave didn’t own a dry-cleaning store, but he saw an opportunity to develop a business around laundry transportation. He contracted with a few local dry-cleaning stores to perform the cleaning and hired me as his pickup and delivery driver.
In those days, none of the dry cleaners in my town offered pickup and delivery services. As Dave described the opportunity, I could see dollar signs in his eyes. His excitement was almost tangible.
In addition to being hungry for a paycheck, I was intrigued by Dave’s business idea. He identified a problem, which was time management, and turned it into a business opportunity. He felt that people in our town were too busy to be bothered with dropping off and picking up their dry cleaning. It was something that people needed to do but didn’t necessarily want to spend their time doing.
He envisioned a premium service. Clients were expected to pay a transportation fee on top of their cleaning bill. At age seventeen, I was genuinely curious about the potential success of this business. “Will people pay more for this service?” I wondered.
I sure hoped they would since this was my summer job!
Dave’s selling strategy was key. He didn’t try to convince people that his dry cleaning was better than others. Instead, he positioned a solution to their problem. He talked with prospective customers about the convenience of having clean dress clothes in their closets without ever having to visit a dry-cleaning store. Most people could relate to needing a dress shirt or a pair of pants and not having clean clothes to wear. Dave positioned the ease of them leaving a laundry bag full of dirty clothes on their doorstep and having us take care of the transportation, returning with clean garments.
The question of whether or not people would sign up for this service was answered fairly quickly. Those who worked locally or had someone at home who could handle dry cleaning transportation did not see value in this offering. They didn’t see going to the dry cleaner as a hardship. To them, his service was not worth the price tag.
However, many businesspeople from Marlboro commuted to New York City. At the time, businesspeople wore suits to work. With a daily commute in excess of two hours each way, they treasured this service. Some even wished they had come up with the idea. I was certainly thankful for the business’s success as I minted money that summer.
Three Sales Takeaways
Dry-cleaning pickup and delivery turned out to be more than just a summer job. I learned a lot about people’s buying behavior and took away three important sales messages that I help clients implement today.
- Price is not the primary decision factor when people are making buying decisions.
The primary decision factor is value. If people see value in what you are selling, they will buy at the prices you want. The burden of demonstrating that value sits on the shoulders of you, the salesperson.
- Know your audience.
What you sell might not be of interest to everyone. In this case, it clearly wasn’t. Salespeople need to gain clarity on who will see value in what they offer. This helps avoid wasting time chasing deals that will either never be won or will only be won at prices you don’t want.
- Identify your business’s meaningful differentiators.
Without them, no one will see value in the offering. There are many ways to differentiate, and successful businesspeople are insatiable in their search for those opportunities. While possessing differentiators is important, the critical part is being able to help someone on the other side of the desk become just as passionate as you are about those differentiators. Without that transfer of passion, buyer decisions come down to one factor: price.
That summer job inspired my passion for Sales Differentiation, but the development of the overall strategy took a few decades to refine. I introduced it in my previous book, Sales Differentiation. That book is broken into two parts. The first half presents strategies to differentiate what you sell.
Each chapter helps salespeople identify differentiators and develop communication strategies to position them with buyers in meaningful ways. The second half of the book is about how you sell Sales Differentiation strategies. It delves into various phases of the new client acquisition process to uncover ways to provide meaningful value that the competition does not. The core purpose of both what you sell and how you sell Sales Differentiation strategies is to help you win more deals at the prices you want.
In Sell Different! I expand upon the how you sell side of the Sales Differentiation equation. You do not need to have read Sales Differentiation to understand Sell Different!
If you have an autographed copy of Sales Differentiation, you may have noticed I inscribed it with “Sell Different!” knowing that there would be a second book on the subject. It’s also why all of my Sales Differentiation social media posts have the hashtag #selldifferent. While it may appear to be marketing, my intention was to challenge your thinking about the way you sell and inspire you to search for ways to differentiate beyond what your product offers. Search no more. I’m about to teach you how to win more deals at the prices you want and Sell Different!
Final Encouraging Words:
When you order Sell Different! today, you’ll gain access to Lee’s “Sales Differentiation Minute” video series (a $2,495 value). For 52 weeks, you will receive an email with a video link in which Lee brings the concepts in Sell Different! to life helping you put them into practice. Email your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Learn more here.
For More Insights: Visit Elinor’s Amazon Author Page
- Create the Smooth Sale (returning and referring)
- Inspired Quotes for Business and Life
- The Smooth Sale Get HIRED! Course and Workbook
- The Smooth Sale Course for Entrepreneurs and Salespeople
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- Are You Attentive To Your Priorities?
- Can You Achieve Everything You Wish If You Focus On Mindset?
Sales Tips: Sales Differentiation Strategy
- Become comfortable with your priorities and passion and recall them each day.
- Be rigorous about achieving your daily goals.
- Should something not develop as anticipated, quickly revise that goal after determining what went wrong.
- Be aware of how your competitors sell and deliver services to differentiate your brand.
- Consistently brand your differences without mention of the competition.
- Deliver the value that your clientele seeks.
- Take pride in being different to sell different.
- Listen to positive and negative feedback to realize the subsequent improvements.
- Use the different sell strategies to build a sought-after business.
- Celebrate Success!
Today’s insights are provided to help you achieve the Smooth Sale!
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