Your job in sales is to make sure that your client chooses you, your company, and your offering. You need to drive a wedge between your dream client and your competitors. You need to drive another wedge between your dream client and the status quo. Let’s look at how to do both.
Differentiation Is the Wedge
It’s critical that you can differentiate your offering from your competitors in a meaningful way. What makes your offering different has to make a difference for your dream client. It has to be something meaningful to them.
Maybe the way you do something allows your dream client to produce better results than your competitors. That better result is a wedge.
Maybe you produce the same results as your competitor but the way that you do it makes it easier for your dream client to achieve those results. The way you fit with your client’s business needs is that wedge.
Or it could be that your values are so differentiating and defining that they resonate with your dream clients. Your alignment on values means you are more likely to be a good long-term partner, and that is a wedge.
Whatever it is that differentiates you has to be something that your dream client looks at and says: “We can’t live without it. It’s right for us because of this, and we can’t buy a solution that doesn’t have it.”
What is your differentiating wedge?
Dissatisfaction and Risk Is the Wedge
Your work isn’t over just because you have a driven a wedge between your dream client and your competitors. The status quo can be every bit as dangerous a competitor in many opportunities (as you have doubtlessly experienced). But your differentiation doesn’t do anything to help you beat the status quo. So you are better than your competitors. So what? Change is still scary. And it’s a lot of work. You need a different wedge.
The wedges that you need to push between your dream clients and the status quo are dissatisfaction and the cost of not taking action now.
Your dream client needs to be reminded of all of the ways that they are dissatisfied with the status quo. Dissatisfaction is what drives the decision to change. But that dissatisfaction can be ratcheted up to create a bigger wedge when combined with the cost of inaction. Your dream client needs to be reminded of what’s at stake. You need to help them remember what they lose by failing to act.
Maybe your dream client will continue to lose money that they need not lose by failing to act. The loss of money drives a wedge between your dream client and the status quo.
Maybe they will lose the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage in their market and risk being leapfrogged. Falling behind and losing market share is a wedge.
Maybe they risk losing their own clients by failing to take action. Lost clients are a wedge.
It’s very natural for buyers to get cold feet towards the end of their buying cycle. This is especially true if what they are buying is expensive, is strategic in nature, or is a high profile decision. But even when it isn’t, they want to make sure they are making the right decision.
You drive wedge between your dream client and your competitor by being different in a way that makes a difference for your client. You drive a wedge between your dream client and the status quo by reminding them that inaction comes with its own price—one that is higher than the price of your solution.
What is the wedge you drive between your dream client and your competitors?
What are the differences that make a difference for your dream clients?
Do you have the ability to use different wedges for different sales opportunities?
How do you drive a wedge between your client and the status quo?
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Filed under: Sales 3.0