- Written by Michael Angier
The first step in any sales process is to gain the attention of your prospective customer. Without doing this, there's no way to get your message across and no way to make a sale—unless it's by accident.
In order to excel, you must differentiate yourself.
foremost in their mind. You want your customer to think of you first when it comes to buying your product or service.
Differentiating yourself from your competitors is worthy of considerable and constant attention. It will save you money, time, aggravation and missed business.
Is this easy? No, it's not.
And that's why it's so uncommon. Standing out requires real thinking. It takes brainstorming. It requires knowing what your customer wants. It demands knowing who you are and what you stand for. It also requires knowing your competition.
What Makes You Special?
Every person—every company—has unique skills, talents and potential to bring to the marketplace. It's critical that you discover what these are.
What special results can you deliver? How can you do it differently? What added value can or could you offer?
Get your staff together and brainstorm this question. Dig deep. Don't accept the easy answers. And keep digging.
What Do Your Customers Really Want?
You might think you know what your customers and potential customers need and you might even be right. But what do they actually WANT?
Spend time talking with your clients. Do surveys. Make it easy for your customers to share their ideas, problems and dissatisfactions. Listen to them.
The problems they bring up—ones they have in general and ones they have with you—are golden opportunities to help you craft your unique selling proposition and deliver exceptional service.
How Can You Deliver Your Uniqueness in the Best Way?
How can you do it faster or better? How can you make it easier to use your product or service? How can you make it less expensive? How can you make your product/service one-of-a-kind? How can you help your customer feel more special? How can you make your product feel exclusive? How can you be more responsive?
What can you add to what you sell that would cost you little or no money but add real and perceived value?
Explore other industries and think about ways you can implement strategies or services from other trades into YOUR trade.
Perhaps one of the best questions to keep in the forefront of your mind is IWWCI (In What Ways Can I) increase the value of my product/service to my customers? I have an entire notebook devoted to just this question. I'm constantly looking for ways to provide more value to our members. I sit down with it often to review my notes and add ideas.
Doing things differently is worthy of your attention. And it's a process that is never complete. It should be constant and never-ending.
It's also a lot of fun. It will keep your creative juices flowing. It will sharpen your thinking and increase your energy. And it will make you more profitable while giving greater value to your customers.
The Lost Art of Thinking, by Michael Angier
How to Create Your Unique Selling Proposition, by Jay Abraham