Selling Better: A Thought Experiment

Imagine this scenario.

What you sell is no different from what your competitors sell. You all produce exactly the same outcome.

There is no real discernible difference in your product. The experience, the service and support, is the same no matter who your prospective client chooses. Any of you or your competitors could literally provide the other’s solution without changing anything.

How would you win new business? What would you do to create a preference so strong that you could capture market share?

If the product isn’t different, then you can’t focus on the product. When the features and benefits are so similar as to make the difference meaningless, focusing on product isn’t going to work.

If the experience is the same, how does that allow you to create a bias towards what you sell? If the experience is table stakes, then it isn’t going to tilt the playing field in your direction.

“But,” you say, “I sell outcomes!” You do sell outcomes but so does your competitor. If your solution and your competitor’s solutions are the same, then there is no reason to prefer one over the other.

In this thought experiment, you can’t change any of these things, so you have to change something else.

What Would You Change?

Would you change how you approach your prospective clients, taking a more consultative approach, spending more time with the people who are buying what you sell, and building consensus among the people who will be effected by a decision to buy from you?

Would you change your process, making sure that the experience of buying from you was so different that your prospective client couldn’t imagine working with anyone else? Would you involve more people from your team to demonstrate a commitment to the prospect and the project?

Would you demonstrate a caring for the clients, and a concern for the details that make the people on their team feel that you were already part of the team?

There are companies who don’t have a better product, experience, or solution than their competitors. There are industries where the difference between choices is so small as to be meaningless. And, there are salespeople who win deals for these companies by relying on something outside of these things to win business. If you want to sell better, you need to discover what these salespeople do differently.

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