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
“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
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
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"
“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"
“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”)
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
“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
“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)
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"
“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'
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”
“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
“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
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"
“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"
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."
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
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®
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
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.
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”
“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
I recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of CEOs about their sales recruitment needs. To make a point, I mentioned to them that my friend, Willie McMoney, had heard that I was speaking to this group and asked that I mention he was looking for a new sales home. I shared Willie’s background with the group: Willie has a Bachelor’s Degree from a well-respected institution, has a great look, has been selling for over ten years for household name companies that offer low-price products, and has exceeded quota each of the last three years. That being said, I asked the group who wanted to hire Willie. Most raised their hands in earnest.
I shared with the group that there were a few more details to discuss before a decision could be finalized. The information to consider was the profile of their company, which included the following attributes: they were a start-up with no name recognition in the marketplace, positioned as a high value/high price provider, and required customization for each client. I asked the group again about hiring Willie. The light bulbs started turning on. They began to recognize that finding a great salesperson is not a one-dimensional exercise; rather, it requires that the company look within to determine the necessary skills and attributes for someone to be a great salesperson in their environment. The term “great” is the issue here. Willie is a great salesperson and he has the credentials to prove it, but the question is: will Willie succeed in your company?
Consider this: companies spend thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, defining their ideal client. They hire firms to help them analyze their approach and identify the audience, as well as how to reach them. When I asked this group to share with me the attributes of their ideal client, I felt like a game show host. The group came to life and was shouting out answers non-stop. I strategically interrupted them and asked them to share with me the attributes of their ideal sales person. After hearing the deafening sound of crickets chirping, I shared what I often heard as attributes of this ideal: someone who is very strategic, solution-oriented, sells on value, experienced, and a strong seller. The group sighed in relief as they thought I had let them off the hook. Not so fast! I asked them how they can hire talent to match that scope. How can recruiters translate that criteria into a project whereby they can laser-focus their approach and produce the right candidates? The relief disappeared from the room and was replaced by angst.
Hiring sales people is the business equivalent of formulating a marriage… a sales marriage, that is. Appearance may be enough to initiate the relationship, but without deep commonality of needs and values, the future of the marriage is bleak. Why does that matter? The expense of sales turnover is truly immeasurable. Sure, you can measure cost of turnover, recruitment, and training but how do you place a value on the damage caused by sending the salesperson of the day into the same accounts over and over again? “Hi, I’m Ben this week’s salesperson representing Widgets We Make. I’m here to help with your needs.”
The way for employers to avoid this peril is to develop a profile of their ideal salesperson. This profile requires the executive team to collaborate and be truly honest about the interworkings of the company in order to produce an effective exercise. The profile includes three primary components: product characteristics, buying process, and organizational attributes.
- What is the nature of the product(s) being sold? Is it tangible, abstract, or concrete?
- What is the nature of the buying relationship? Is it a one-time, transaction sale or a repetitive, complex one?
- Is the product a component of something broader (niche) or is it a comprehensive solution?
- How recognizable is the product and company in the marketplace of your buyers?
- In contrast to the competition, where is the product priced?
- What are the expectations of the salesperson with respect to prospecting? Are you generating leads or are they expected to self-generate them?
- How long is the buying process?
- Is the product “off the shelf” or does it require the salesperson to creatively build a solution?
- At what level is the purchasing decision made? Who are the other buying players that influence the purchasing decision?
- What sales support is available for the salespeople? Is the salesperson required to go from end to end or is the salesperson only required to handle certain parts of the process?
- How flexible does someone need to be to survive in your environment? Think in terms of how often the organizational structure changes the compensation, and/or the territory.
- What is the sales management approach? Is the sales manager a hands-on coach or a distant observer of performance?
- What are you willing to teach to a salesperson? The product? Prospecting? Product positioning?
- What aren’t you willing to teach to a salesperson? Sales 101? Prospecting?
- What corporate baggage does your company have? What are the oddities that make it challenging for a salesperson to succeed in your environment? Is there a difficult individual in your company? Are there technical flaws that make it challenging to sell the product? This one requires true introspection and honesty.
With this exercise complete, you are ready to formulate your ideal salesperson profile which looks like this:
We want a salesperson who is experienced at selling
A product with the following attributes…
In a buying process that includes…
For a company characterized by…
Now that you have a profile for your ideal salesperson, don’t keep it a secret. Be sure that your entire leadership team has a copy of it! Share it with recruiters so they can deliver candidates that match it. Develop interview steps that allow you to measure if these candidates meet the profile. Formulate interview questions that expose these areas.
I concluded the meeting with a quick comparison of Willie’s skills and the company’s attributes, which can be seen on the first page. A marriage between these two would be disastrous! Although I wasn’t able to find Willie a new sales home, I did succeed in making the CEOs aware of the steps they need to take in order to create the best sales team possible for their company.