Differentiating From Your Competition – Overcoming Seller Deficit Disorder – Part 4


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As we’ve discussed in the first three parts of this series, Seller Deficit Disorder is caused by prospects believing that you don’t understand their needs. It’s the disadvantage that can keep you from making sales.

So far, we’ve talked about the importance of asking your prospects two-sided discovery questions, truly listening to their answers, gaining access to top decision-makers and defining value in the eyes of the buyer. This time, we’ll talk about the fourth symptom of Seller Deficit Disorder – your prospect’s inability to distinguish between you and your competitors.

Symptom No. 4: Your Prospect Can’t Differentiate Between Competitive Offerings

Differentiation – what makes you different than the competition? Actually your prospect doesn’t just want to know what’s different about your product or service, but what makes you better.

When the buyer can’t differentiate your solution from your competitors’, they often assume that all of the solutions are similar in value. This perception eventually reduces the buyer’s decision to the lowest common denominator: price. And when the buyer perceives your solution as expensive, it often leads to negotiations coming down to demands for price discounts.

Asking two-sided discovery questions not only allows you to understand your buyer’s pain early in the sales cycle, it also allows you to begin introducing relevant differences between you and your competition early in the customer conversation. This can gain you an opportunity to influence the buying criteria along the way. And when it comes to negotiating, you’ll be negotiating on the cost of the pain versus the cost of the solution.

Are you prepared to tie your product’s differentiation to your prospect’s biggest pain? If not, it’s time to regroup and make sure you’re better prepared for next time.

What are your best tips for differentiating your product from the competition? Leave a comment or contact me directly with your ideas, feedback and questions.

John Kaplan
John Kaplan, Managing Partner at Force Management, LLC, has over 2 years of experience as a sales executive for large multi-national corporations in sales leadership and execution, corporate strategy, training and development and national account management. Force Management offers customized sales consulting and training services.


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