The Key to Differentiation

Many times, we think that the best way to educate a possible prospect about our products/services and how we differentiate is by “telling” them.  But think back, do you believe and absorb everything you hear?

Selling is more about the “asking” than the “telling.”  And it all starts with understanding your own products and services and how they are unique or better than the alternatives.  This will lead your prospects to your Differentiation.

First – Understand Your Own Differentiators

  • Define what your differentiation is based upon:
    • Features and functions
    • Implementation abilities
    • Risk factors
    • Terms, or simply how you do business
  • Think beyond the feature/function – it is about people and process as well.
  • Just because you think it is a differentiator, doesn’t make it so.  You need to have actual customers using it and achieving results – what are the results? Prove it! Show it!

Second – Leverage the data in your Credibility Introduction/Reference Stories

  • Provide examples of how real world customers have been able to address these unique problems, how you’ve solved them and what was the impact.
  • Show measurable results that have been achieved with past customers.
  • Create interest!
  • Tell the story of how customers have succeeded vs. the product’s capabilities.
  • Outline how it would impact the business in dollars, resources, and time.
  • Again, if you read this second body of work, it’s about telling not asking.

Third– Create the Probing Questions that help you Uncover the Problems for your Customer.

  • Probing p=Problem questions describe the problem you can address and ask the customer if they are encountering the same situation.
  • Help them to admit they’re struggling, too.
  • Have them describe the depth of their Problem.
  • Your goal is to guide your prospect to fully understand how you are better than the competition.

Fourth – Be Prepared

  • Based on the market, industry, and level of power, have your credibility and problem probing questions ready to go.
  • Lead the witness.
  • Truly try to uncover what is behind the need and insert your differentiation via your problem probing questions.

When you understand your own products and services and how they are unique or better than the alternatives, it will lead your prospects to your Differentiation. This will ultimately assist you in closing the deal!

Carlos has 25 years of experience in the enterprise software industry, including sales, service, business development, creation of partner alliances and business operations. He’s advised companies including Comcast, NCR, Sumo Logic, ServiceNow, and VMware.