Successful Salespeople Avoid This Mistake At All Costs

cofident-salespersonWhatever products and services you sell, someone is competing with you. That’s true even when your company is first to market with a new product and able to charge a premium for it because your competition hasn’t caught up. Not yet. But they will.

Whatever you can create, someone else can too.

Bottom line: you will never create a long-term differential advantage in the marketplace when it comes to your product or service. Successful salespeople know this, so they don’t lead with their products or services. If they did, they know they would become a commodity – someone with no discernable difference from competing sales reps.

Don’t lead off a sales call talking about how great your products or services are. If you lead with your product (and price will quickly follow), you’ve lowered the quality of the conversation. You’re conducting a superficial conversation with the prospect, instead of a substantive one. At best, you look like every other salesperson the prospect has talked to. At worst, they don’t even remember you. They simply see a product and a price. That’s all – nothing else. You’ve commoditized yourself.

Here’s What To Do

The answer is to put your products and services behind you; lead with yourself—a confident, competent sales professional. Allow your credibility to shine through your industry experience, your marketplace knowledge, and your business acumen. Say to yourself, mentally, “I have these products and services; I’m trained on them; they’re there when I need them. But what I’m really focused on is finding out if this prospect wants to do business with us, and if I want to do business with them. If so, what value can I provide?”

Position yourself as a trusted business advisor, qualify properly, and ask good questions to uncover their perceptions of value. If you discover potential exists for your solutions, then you can bring products and services into the conversation.

Regardless, the mindset, attitude, and customer experience has to be far more robust than simply your product and price—otherwise you commoditize yourself. And that’s why you don’t lead with your products or services.

To learn how to be a more effective salesperson, please learn more about our sales training programs.