There are three basic reasons people buy products or services:
- Brand identity
- The product is differentiated
- A very targeted solution which meets a very specific need
Brand identity means that the brand name stands for something in which people believe, find important, or about which they are passionate. For example, I use an Apple iPhone when I could probably get an Android device cheaper which does all the same functions. However, I believe in the Apple brand!
This is the most powerful of the three reasons but is also the most difficult. You can potentially establish your brand so that people want to do business with you just because of YOU! Customers will want to do business with you because other people they respect do business with you.
If your product or service is differentiated, then you offer something better or do it differently than your competitors. As a sales professional, this would mean your sales solution is better than everyone else’s. Although this is the easiest to accomplish of the three reasons, it is the least powerful.
A targeted solution provides a very specific solution for a very specific niche to fill a very specific need. This is totally different than the first two in that this doesn’t mean you are better than competitors but that you are the only one! You’ve literally separated yourself into a category of one. This strategy requires an enormous amount of discipline, thought, and strategy. But it can be extremely powerful and effective, especially for referral. The basic strategy for this is simple: you just keep narrowing down what you offer until you are the market leader. Although you are an individual sales rep in a local market, you might still become a market leader by providing gift card programs for pizza shops in your area who process between $10,000 to $30,000 per month. Another idea is to provide electronic check processing for auto related businesses in the area where you live. You’d be the only one doing this and, thus, the market leader.
Personally, I like to combine methods two and three; this works best for me. I identify several individual niches in my market, then look for ways to become the market leader for each of those niches with one need which sets me apart from the competition. Also, I try to narrow the focus of what I do.
In summary, you need to make sure you’re offering one or more of these three things if you want people to buy from you.
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