Are you tired of relying on buzzwords that ultimately commoditize your value proposition, and focuses the sale on whoever offers the lowest price? Then it may be time to overhaul your sales positioning strategy. Trust me, a Darwinian style recalibration is now underway where individuals and companies will play a more crucial role in their own success than ever before.
As you know, sales and marketing departments at competing companies have been trying to out-describe each other for many years. As a result, industry buzz words have been reduced to sounding more like mush. Hence, the traditional ‘elevator pitch’ has unfortunately become one of the quickest ways a salesperson can commoditize their company’s value proposition.
In today’s marketplace, I would argue that how effectively your product is being positioned relative to other solution alternatives, is more important than the viability of the company of the product itself. Just look at any company and you will notice that some people are more effective than others, even though they are selling the same type of products to similar customers.”
Since the economic slowdown began, one of the frequent requests we now receive is, “Tom, can you take a look at our overall go-to-market strategy, and show us how to differentiate the value of our products and services?”
“We have discovered that the way products have traditionally been sold is upside down from how most customers make decisions? This is quickly becoming a problem for companies who need to position themselves in highly competitive markets.”
I originally built my business by training salespeople to be more effective. More specifically, the QBS methodology teaches sellers how to more effectively position themselves, their companies, and their product offerings to maximize revenue and sustain the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
But, it turns out that the skill set required to position the value of your recommended solutions is not limited to salespeople. Have your visited your competitor’s website lately? Everyone claims to be the leader in their industry, with a track record of success, a commitment to quality, and an experienced staff that is second to none. Unfortunately, these claims of superiority are quickly disregarded by potential customers.
The net result is, sellers and marketers now find themselves in the awkward position of wanting to convey and communicate robust value messages, but they don’t want their messaging to be commoditized or put in the same bucket with other claims that have been instantly disregarded.
Time for a Competitive Boost?
People are often surprised to find out that Question Based Selling is not actually about asking questions. Funny, huh? But asking questions is not the actual skill, as you can literally teach any script-reader to ask a bunch of sales questions. The real skill is causing people to “want to” engage in a productive conversation about their needs and your value, with someone they don’t yet know and trust.
Question Based Selling is ultimately a positioning strategy, where we focus on the cause and effect relationship between what needs to happen in order to create the desired result. For example:
* Teaching people how to leave more effective voice-mail messages can easily take the standard 2% response rate to a 50%+ response, just by adjusting the positioning of the message being left.
* The same is true with email. Customers today receive so many email messages, that companies are actually doing more to satisfy the recipient’s curiosity than to create it.
* Have you ever finished up a product presentation of system demo, just in time to hear one of the participants say, “That’s was great! I wish Robert had been here to see it.” Who’s Robert?
The truth is, most viable companies have a good story to tell. The issue and potential opportunity comes from the way that story is being told (or positioned). This includes proactively dealing with weaknesses that are likely to get asked, as well as positioning away the competition without mud-slinging, which only makes you sound defensive anyway.
Repeatable Success comes from Superior Technique
What is the cost of losing a sale by simply getting outsold?
For any positioning strategy to be effective, it must first be predicated on sound logic to secure the buy-in of the sales and marketing teams who will ultimately be responsible for implementation, and the positioning strategies must also be differentiable and repeatable. Repeatability comes from proven technique.
* Gold Medals & German Shepherds
* Leveraging Curiosity throughout the sales process
* Explaining Intangible Value in terms of the absence of it
* Conversational layering
* Conversational Dynamics
* Manufacturing Mini-Invitations
* PAS Positioning vs. SPA
* Turning Cold Calls into Luke Warm Calls
* How to Win the Sales when it’s a Tie
* Gaining Instant “Traction” within New Accounts
* Fostering a Greater Sense of Urgency for moving forward.
Schedule a QBS Positioning Assessment
A QBS Positioning Overhaul is a relatively new offering from QBS Research, Inc. Basically, it’s a day and a half on-site ‘think tank’ session whereby we work with the client to map the company’s total value proposition against other competitive offerings. Usually, there is significant overlap of messaging at the buzzword level. That’s where specific positioning techniques become the differentiator.
Prior to the on-site event, we will ask client to provide a complete set of marketing collateral, competitive information, product information, and anything else that might help us understand the current positioning.
After the event, a detailed report with specific recommendations is delivered to the client. Implementing these specific recommendations in terms of enhanced positioning of the product, company, and salespeople themselves is where the transformation and desirable outcome takes place.
As companies work harder and harder to convey greater value, especially in an increasingly competitive selling environment, the messages being communicated are becoming less and less impactful.
Customers today are more discerning and more sophisticated, and they are no longer willing to endure a steady stream of cold-callers from vendors wanting to "probe" for needs. Thus, it’s more important than ever for sellers step outside the box of traditional sales thinking, in order to separate yourself and your team from the rest of the “noise” in the marketplace.
Contact us today for information about logistics, date availability, and cost.
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