Pretend for a moment that you have a sales rep in front of a highly qualified prospect. The prospect asks, “Why should I buy from you?”
What’s your rep going to say?
Will they start talking about your products and services, your great reputation, competitive pricing, your great customer service? Will they start reciting features and functions based on your latest spec sheet so they can prove you are the best?
I really, really hope that’s not what happens, but I suspect it is.
That’s the way most sales reps approach prospects, and it’s the exact wrong thing to do.
To understand why all you have to do is extend the scenario out a few hours. Your rep has left, and your prospect is now meeting with one of your direct competitors. The prospect asks the very same question: “Why should I buy from you?”
The response? Likely that rep will say everything yours did: how great their products are, how great their reputation is, how competitive their pricing is, how great their customer service is. They’ll recite the features and functions of whatever they’re selling.
In short, your sales rep and the competitor will have sounded exactly the same to the prospect, making it nearly impossible to distinguish between the two of you, and now the prospect defaults to price.
That’s the commodity trap we’ve already warned you about.
In a past blog, we talked about the importance of understanding your customers’ motives in your efforts to avoid the commodity trap. While that’s still important, we’d like to provide a few more techniques that you can pass onto your sales reps immediately.
Avoid the commodity trap by coaching your sales reps up in these 3 simple steps:
When your sales reps focus on the prospect or customers issues, establishing a strong peer-to-peer relationship early on, asking good questions, and admitting upfront that they don’t yet know whether or not it makes sense for the two of you to work together, they can quickly and effectively avoid the commodity trap and begin taking steps to building greater sales success.
For more tips on this or discuss how you can even further improve your sales methods, give us a call.
Sales management expert Duane Cashin has lead award-winning sales organizations and trained sales teams for companies of all sizes. He’s earned membership in Presidents Club and Circle of Excellence, successfully built and sold his own multi-million-dollar business, and enjoys sharing his passion for sales.