Compel your dream
“If you want to compel your dream clients to change, you have to be different in a way that makes a difference. Lee Salz has written a comprehensive guide to differentiating your offering in a crowded, me-too marketplace. More importantly, this book will help you do the critical work of differentiating yourself!”
— Anthony Iannarino, Author of "Eat Their Lunch: Winning Clients Away from Your Competitors"
“Sales Differentiation is filled with great examples that are perfect for both beginning salespeople looking to develop their skills and experienced salespeople seeking to take their sales results to the next level!”
— Dawn Deeter, Ph.D., director, Kansas State University National Strategic Selling Institute
Refer my clients
“Lee Salz is the E. F. Hutton of customer acquisition. When Lee speaks, you should listen. In an over-crowded, over supplied world, Lee’s insights into differentiating yourself by how you sell ring fresh and true. I regularly refer my clients to Lee and wait for the accolades to come streaming in – which they always do. Lee Salz’s methods are practical and they work!”
— Bill Mills, CEO, Executive Group, Inc.
Detailing multiple strategies
“Finally, a definitive approach on what it means to differentiate yourself and what you sell. Lee Salz has done a masterful job of detailing multiple strategies you can use now to genuinely set yourself apart in the eyes of your customers. The value in the book is in his examples, which allow you to understand what you need to do to create a sales differential your customers will notice and, more importantly, pay for! This isn’t a book to simply read. It’s a book to read and apply. You won’t regret it!”
— Mark Hunter, CSP, “The Sales Hunter,” author of “High-Profit Prospecting”
Entertaining writing style
“In today’s sales environment where buyers are subjected to more sales ‘noise’ than ever, Sales Differentiation is a must-read (and must-implement) for any salesperson who wants to stand out and excel. With Lee’s engaging, entertaining writing style, peppered with numerous stories and examples, you’ll find yourself reading the book quickly. But, you’ll want to go through it again several times to absorb, highlight, and write down the many valuable how-to’s to use on your own calls.”
— Art Sobczak, Author of “Smart Calling”
Opening doors to winning
“Sales Differentiation shows how salespeople are more important than ever in terms of adding value and differentiating their product or service from the competition. The concepts presented by Lee Salz will help you in every phase of the sales process – from opening doors to winning deals at the prices you want. Make sure you have a pen, paper, and highlighter in hand when you read this book.”
— Paul Nolan, Editor, Sales & Marketing Management magazine
“Salespeople know that differentiation is a best practice but have been left to their own devices to figure out how to do it… until now. Sales Differentiation presents strategies that salespeople can quickly put into practice.”
— Verne Harnish, founder Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)
“As I’ve traveled around the world over the past several years working with companies and their salespeople, I’ve been amazed to find that they do not know, and cannot articulate, their competitive advantage! How can a company or salesperson expect prospects and customers to give their time and attention if they do not understand,clearly and concisely, what that company can do for them that no one else can do? So, how can you demonstrate your competitive advantage? Buy Sales Differentiation by Lee Salz, read it page by page, implement its 19 strategies and you will then be able to set yourself apart from your competition and clearly show your customers what your company can do for them that no one else can do.”
— Dr. Tony Alessandra, author of "Collaborative Selling: How to Gain the Competitive Advantage in Sales"
“Finally a book that addresses differentiation in a step by step manner that allows salespeople to apply what they learn, immediately. The practical easy to read format and examples to drive the point home are exceptional. Get this book in the hands of every salesperson you know.”
— Alice Heiman, Founder and CSO at Alice Heiman, LLC
Filled with dozens
“Filled with dozens of proven concepts as well as highly-relatable stories, this book shows that salespeople who differentiate themselves not only win more deals, but they also win at higher margins. It is a brilliant and practical how-to guide for salespeople at every level. If you want to escape the high penalty that comes from the buyer’s perception of sameness, this book is your key to success.”
— Gerhard Gschwandtner, CEO, Selling Power magazine
World sales success
“Here’s the path to no longer hear the price objection ever again, as well as rendering your competitors as irrelevant. Lee Salz, in Sales Differentiation, shares his decades of real world sales success so all can now reap the rewards. Don’t read this book – DEVOUR it!”
— Jack Daly, CEO / Entrepreneur / Coach and Best Selling Business Author
“Lee Salz says it’s not just what you sell, but how you sell it. His 19 sales differentiation strategies are a surefire way to drive profitable sales.”
— Harvey Mackay, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller 'Swim with The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive'
Deals at the prices
“Lee Salz’s sales differentiation strategies are just what you need to stand out in a crowded market, create more meaningful conversations, and close more deals at the prices you want.”
— Jill Konrath, author of "More Sales Less Time" and "SNAP Selling"
Comprehensive and compelling
“Everyone agrees that sales differentiation is a good thing, but no one has ever explained exactly what, why and how to truly become differentiated. Until now. Sales Differentiation is a comprehensive and compelling look at an often-overlooked strategy for sales success.”
— Deb Calvert, author, Stop Selling & Start Leading and DISCOVER Questions®
Implementing the concepts
“I. Love. Everything. About. This. Book. Lee Salz not only powerfully describes why DIFFERENTIATION is so critical, but he shows you exactly how to differentiate yourself, your sales approach, and your messaging. Implementing the concepts in Sales Differentiation will get you more meetings with the right buyers, elevate how they view you and your solution, and help you close more business.”
— Mike Weinberg - author of the "New Sales. Simplified." and "Sales Management. Simplified."
Actionable and easy
“In a sales world with so much noise, Lee’s book stands out just like his teachings. It’s actionable and easy to read, made for any level of sales professional.”
— Max Altschuler, Max Altschuler, CEO Sales Hacker & Author of "Hacking Sales"
“A treasure chest of practical, tactical, and doable ways to differentiate yourself from the competition! Read it… Use it!”
— Anthony Parinello, author of "Selling to VITO, The Very Important Top Officer"
Fantastic and strategic
“In a sea of businesses and salespeople competing in the same spaces for the same dollars, being different is the only way to get an edge on your competition. Lee Salz has penned a fantastic and strategic book that gives salespeople the formula to do just that. Simply put, this book is not only incredibly useful, it’s different.”
— Ken Kupchik, author of The Sales Survival Handbook and creator of Sales Humor
“I find many salespeople forget that they have an opportunity to stand-out from the competition in the way they sell so instead they fight to win sales on price. Lee’s book will help ensure that doesn’t happen to you.”
— Brandon Steiner, CEO and founder of Steiner Sports Marketing
Simple and effective
“Sales Differentiation is full of ideas that will immediately help you win more business. For example, Lee’s Sales Crime Theory – do your investigating before you make the sales call – is so simple and effective yet a large majority of sales executives think that doing one’s homework is finding a phone number or at best, visiting a prospect’s website. Lee gives you easy-to-implement ideas that will ensure you are relevant, that give you permission to ask challenging questions, that give you an edge in negotiations, and that separate you from just about every salesperson in every sales call, every time.”
— Sam Richter, World’s Leading Expert on Sales Intelligence and CEO SBR Worldwide / Know More
“In Sales Differentiation, Lee delivers a fine addition to his line of outstanding sales reference tools. It’s straight forward, packed full of real world examples, and presented in a fresh unique way as only Lee can. He not only addresses many common sales myths and barriers but provides examples and detailed processes to help you differentiate your products and services in a way that will catch a buyer’s attention.”
— Larry Reeves, CEO, American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (“AA-ISP”)
“Lee Salz has written a different sales book about how YOU can be a different sales professional to help you sell more. It’s a common trap that a lot of salespeople fall into, all saying the same things, trying the same strategies and selling in the same way. The problem is that doesn’t often work and it’s usually those who do it differently that win. This book is brilliantly written and talks you through how you make WHAT you sell different and the WAY you sell different to win more deals. I’ve read a lot of sales books over the years, but none have given such a great process that I know I’ll be able to use straight away.”
— Daniel Disney, Founder of The Daily Sales and Leading Social Selling Trainer
“When I was creating the Rainforest Café, I sought to create a differentiated diner experience. In Sales Differentiation, Lee Salz provides you with the strategies to create a differentiated experience for your clientele. I highly recommend it for anyone in sales.”
— Steven Schussler, creator and founder of Rainforest Cafe, T-REX, Yak & Yeti and The Boathouse all featured at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL
Years ago, I interviewed for a Vice President of Sales position with a mid-sized services firm. Everything was going well with my interview with the CEO of the company and then the question came. It is the favorite question of CEOs everywhere. Yet, it is also the most ridiculous question to ask a Vice President of Sales candidate in an interview.
“So, how much revenue can you drive for us this year?”
I thought it was a joke, but he wasn’t joking. Maybe it was a trick question, it wasn’t. So, I said, “Before I answer, may I ask you a few questions?” He acquiesced…
How many sales people can I hire?
What is the marketing budget?
What is the travel budget?
What is the budget for cost of sales?
To all of these fundamental business questions, the answer was, “I haven’t decided yet.” Very quickly what I initially thought was a joke became an interview nightmare. Red flags were waving in front of my face telling me to run from this opportunity as fast as I could.
After hearing his responses to my questions, I responded, “Revenue is a function of the investment made in both sales and marketing. How can someone give you a number that you can believe in without having answers to those questions?”
He leaned back in his chair and said, “Well, the other candidate gave me a number.” I told him that I could certainly provide him with a revenue number, but not to come looking for it. I attempted to explain further, but the CEO’s thought process was one-dimensional. He was interviewing a Vice President of Sales candidate as if the role was sales representative. (Mind you, I don’t recommend that question when evaluating sales candidates either.) Following my instincts, I told him that it was best that he proceed with hiring the other candidate and I wrapped up the interview. He was dumbfounded to say the least.
If you are hiring a Vice President of Sales, there are five critical areas to explore of your candidate, but a revenue growth commitment is not one of them.
Salesforce Recruitment. If you have decided to hire a Vice President of Sales, you are expecting them to build a sales team. Hiring sales people is both risky and costly. The ideal candidate for this role should have a methodology that mitigates the risk and quickly gets the new hire up to speed. Bad hires kill the bottom-line, but so do unproductive sales people. Every day that a new sales person is on the bench, not yet ready to generate sales, they sit on your books as a liability. Thus, a key skill that the ideal candidate will possess is development of a process to screen and “on-board” new sales team members.
Sales Process Development. One of the goals of having a sales organization is to establish consistent performance. This can only happen if a defined process has been established for the sales people to follow. Many companies hang their hat on the performance of a single rainmaker. One person generating 75% of the revenue means that you have one highly profitable team member and a bunch of unprofitable sales people on the team. What happens if the rain maker leaves for greener pastures? Having a well-defined sales process in place reduces the amount of time for new hires to get up to speed as well as provides continued direction and focus for the tenured sales people. This translates into another key benefit which is scalability. Your company’s ability to experience significant growth resides on this leader’s acumen at building a process that leads the entire team to perform.
Compensation Plan Development. In many companies, one of the responsibilities of the Vice President of Sales is the formulation of a sales compensation plan. Sales compensation plans should be designed to reinforce the sales process that has been developed. One thing about sales people is that they do not need a job description to tell them their job. The compensation plan tells them where to focus their time. The wrong plan can tank the company…the right plan can lead to explosive results. Thus, this becomes a critical skill that your ideal candidate must possess. To learn more about developing the right compensation plan, read my eBook titled, “Sales Compensation Best Practices.”
Metric Management. In many sales environments, today’s sale is not necessarily an indication of a sales person doing the right things now. Thus, you are paying commissions for what they did right a month, three months, or maybe a year ago. This makes it critical that other metrics are measured beyond revenue achievement. There is an old expression…what gets measured, gets done. In essence, the process that they create has multiple measurement points that allows for the creation for a dashboard. The metrics on this dashboard show the performance of the sales team and allow for intervention when performance is not meeting expectations. Thus the key is to understand how the candidate uses metrics to develop, manage, and grow their sales team. Learn more about developing a sales metric management system.
Performance Management. The world would be a wonderful place if every sales person hired performs like a rock star, but that doesn’t happen. You will have both over-achievers and subpar performers…and each requires a different management approach. Top performers need nurturing, appreciation, and growth opportunities while subpar performers need support, guidance, and intervention. Handle the top performers wrong and they leave. Handle the subpar performers incorrectly and they can suck the profits from the company. Thus, in the interview process, it is important to understand the candidate’s management approach for different situations.
Not sure what questions to ask of your Vice President of Sales candidate? Download my FREE eBook Top 100 Sales Leader Interview Questions.
The Vice President of Sales is a key member at the Executive table. As a business owner, when screening these candidates, focus on the skills that lead to the creation of your sales architecture® which means you are selecting a candidate that creates a sales organization based that delivers consistency, stability, and profitability.
Going back to the earlier story, that company did hire the other candidate…and fired him six months later after he did not deliver on the expectation he set in the interview for growing the business.