The competition is cutting and the consumer just keeps getting smarter. What resources do have in your armory to be competitive in your market? What is your competitive edge and how do you sustain it? Why would you purchase products/services from "you"? Where is the differentiation/unique niche? How are you different from your competition? Let's start by analyzing what we bring to the fight, (these would be the constituent parts of our processes).
First is the "U" Factor. The "U" Factor is defined as, putting a part of ‘u' in every part of your presentation. One of the biggest risks we face in our society is devaluing our human capital. Falling behind the technology curve, getting unplugged from the knowledge network, or slipping out of the strategic mainstream are examples of how we devalue our human capital. So knowledge is one way to differentiate "you". In addition to knowledge, is the way we articulate our knowledge. Are you able to discern and individual's level of education, their background, where they are rooted, and what circles of influence they may partner, by the way they articulate their thoughts? Knowledge and the way we apply it are integral parts of the "U" Factor. Let's not forget integrity (ethos)-which guides our client to realize our genuineness. So how are you different? Do you deliver on your promises? Do you continue to educate yourself? Do you have superior customer service skills? Do your actions match your words? If you are not sure what makes you different, ask your clients why they chose to do business with you. Or, just as important ask your potential clients why they chose not to do business with you. You can also ask potential clients what they look for in a sales consultant (this will help define your objective).
I know there may be an audience that wants more than the "U" Factor. You know the audience I am referencing-the client that weighs you, measures you, and finds you wanting. It's this wanting that leads us to the next focus. A part of our process often overlooked is our organization (especially when the organization is a household name).
What does your organization bring to the fight? Is your organization a leader in a particular market? If the company is a leader: why? What is your company able to offer your client that other companies can't? This will require you to research your competition. If you worked for your competition would you be able to offer all of the benefits you can offer with your present company? Ask your clients, what they want from a company. This would be a big step in differentiating "you" from the competition. Most sales consultants puke on their clients with all the benefits their company has to offer. Try creating value by first finding what is important to your client (Hot Button).
Another part of our process is to identify all of the risks and vulnerabilities impacting your client's bottom line (profits). Thoroughly, scanning your client's environment for all risks and vulnerabilities (exposure) is your responsibility as a consultant. First you must be cognizant of all the risks and vulnerabilities so you can educate your client; to how exposed they are. How often do you hear clients use the moniker "Educator" when referring to sales consultants?
Now that we have exposed all the risks, we have to propose a solution that makes financial sense. Do the solutions save the client time and money? Do the solutions help the client become more competitive in their marketplace? We need to show the clients how our solution saves dollars and makes dollars. When you met the client you may have told them that you where going to show them how they were going to accomplish the aforementioned. If you do not meet your promise of showing how your products and services make financial sense, you have just lost your authentic presence. Remember, we did mention integrity. Conduct an ROI (return on investment) to help your client realize the solutions you are proposing make financial sense. If you do not know how to conduct an ROI, you can pick up a book on financial management or economics. How different would you be if you were able to show a client how your products and services increase cash flow-which allows them to meet debt service requirements (principle and interest payments), keeping them out of bankruptcy or having to acquire more debt for financial leveraging? If you are going to talk-the-talk make sure you are able to walk-the-walk. Make sure you have thorough knowledge of this language.
These are the constituent parts of our processes: "U" Factor, Your Company, Risk/Exposure, and Solutions. It's now up to you to analyze these constituents and see how they relate and interrelate, so you can exercise synthesis. The combination of analysis and synthesis will help you produce a new and higher level of truth. You will find these truths to be the difference/unique niche that annihilates your competition.
So what is your unique niche? What is your strategy? Both are required for superior performance, but have different agendas. The broader your portfolio of advantages the less risk you face in competitive battles. Knowledge is power and serves as a shield against uncertainty. Therefore, do your homework. Know your competition, study your product lines, understand your industry, research your market, and seek out company resources. Remember, the goal is not competitive imitation, but competitive innovation.
"The principle of competing is against yourself. It's about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before."