You Are Going to Need a Pencil Sharpener

If you don’t create some differentiated value throughout the sales process, starting from the very first meeting with your dream client, then you can expect to be commoditized. If they don’t get the experience of working with someone that they believe has a greater ability to help them produce results than any of their peers, your client will not perceive you as different enough to pay more.

In a larger amount than you might imagine, you are the value proposition.

If you don’t have the insights, ideas, business acumen, and situational knowledge that allows you to position yourself as a peer, a trusted advisor, and someone who can provide good counsel, then you are going to look and sound a lot like your competitors. When you look and sound like everyone else, you force the client to find the differentiation on their own, and the easiest place to find that is in your pricing.

It is your job to explain why you are different, how you are different, and how that differentiation is worth paying more to obtain.

The delta between your price and your competitor’s price is your problem to solve. You have to be able to explain why your prospective client needs to make that additional investment to produce the better results they need. You are also responsible for explaining how underinvesting is going to put their results at risk, and potentially cause even greater challenges.

You have to be able to justify the delta between your price and your competitor’s pricing. If you want your prospective client to understand the difference, you have to teach them. You have to help them defend the investment inside their own company.

If you can’t differentiate yourself and your offering, if you can’t provide value outside of your solution, and if you can’t justify the greater investment your solution requires, you’re going to need a pencil sharpener.

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