I first heard this quote at a national sales conference I attended in my early 20’s. (Don’t even go there—you will run out of fingers and toes.)
The entire theme of the meeting was built around it and I found it a compelling theme that is still good to revisit today. What is your image of difference? How do you make you and your company stand out in a noisy, crowded market place?
Between email, Twitter, Facebook, and iEverything, it’s difficult to create differentiation. Here are a couple of tips to help you create that image of difference:
- Know your customer. Today’s buyer is expecting you to know their business because of expectations set by other companies. Think about it. NetFlix suggests movies you’d like based on your previous rentals. Amazon shows you other books you might like because of prior purchases. The result is today’s buyer doesn’t have the patience or desire to educate you on their business. They are expecting you to know it.
- Do the opposite of everyone else. Here is a small example. Live networking events are still alive and well. And so are some bad sales habits that show up at those events. A well intentioned person asks you, “So what do you do?” They immediately regret asking the question because of the lengthy, boring answer delivered. “Well, I help companies achieve growth by streamlining their processes, increasing their efficiencies, which results in top and bottom line growth.” z…z...z...z…z
Do the opposite and give a response that grabs their attention and sense their sense of humor. For example, I often give the answer, “We help salespeople stop talking so much.” Or, “We help salespeople stop showing up and throwing up on their prospects.” Most people laugh and want to hear more. Humor is a wonderful conversation opener.
Create an image of difference. Know your customer and do the opposite of what your prospect is expecting.
Chief Selling Officer