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."
“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
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"
“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'
“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
“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)
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
“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"
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.
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
“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”)
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”
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®
“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
“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
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"
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
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"
“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"
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
“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
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”
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
So, it’s been another round of price squeezing. Very painful! They want it cheaper and your company has tasked you with protecting margin. To make matters worse, the prospect called you one of the worst things possible… a vendor! At this point, you have probably decided that sales really isn’t fun. There is hope! You can change the entire playing field by changing your style, your approach, and your game.
Let’s look at two restaurants… McDonald’s and Morton’s. When you go to McDonald’s, you are there because you are hungry. When you go to Morton’s, you want a dining experience. McDonald’s offers value meals. Morton’s offers a high cost a la carte dining experience. If you are concerned about price, Morton’s is not for you. The McDonald’s experience involves you ordering a meal and the order is provided quickly and accurately for you. The question asked of every order at McDonald’s is, “would you like fries with that?” (Apparently, fries go with everything.) At Morton’s, the wait staff make initial recommendations, listen to the diner, make additional recommendations based on the dialogue, finish receiving the order, and the end result is a stellar meal. While both are successful restaurants, this is a metaphor for the vendor/partner relationship.
With that in mind, consider these definitions courtesy of Websters.com…
Vendor: someone who promotes or exchanges goods or services for money.
Partner: one who participates in a relationship in which each member has equal status.
Now consider these…
Customer: one that buys goods or services
Client: one that depends on the protection of another
So if you put this together, customers have vendors, but clients have partners. Let’s make a deal, we won’t call them customers anymore and they won’t call us vendors because at the end of the day, people really want to be treated as clients. Vendors don’t have clients. I suspect that this isn’t overly revolutionary for you, but let’s contrast the vendor/partner relationship.
Vendors provide data, but partners interpret the data, analyze it, and make recommendations. For example, if you were having a business review meeting and told them how many widgets and gadgets they bought, you behaved as a vendor. If you asked them why the location in Missouri bought 30% more than the past, you behaved as a partner.
Vendors take orders, partners inquire as to why they want what they want. Out of the blue, you are asked to provide a different service than you have previously provided to your client. The vendor gets it done, and probably pretty quickly too. The partner asks questions to understand why this is desired and determines the optimum way to solve the business challenge at hand.
Vendors are reactive, or even responsive, but partners are proactive. Many sales people confuse handling issues quickly as being a partner. However, a true partner looks at the business and makes recommendations before challenges are experienced by the client.
Vendors take a narrow look at the world, but partners see the world in totality. If you were selling windows and your discussions exclusively focused on the windows and their benefits and functionality, you function as a vendor. If you discuss the entire house in conjunction with “the how” the windows purchase is related, you behave as a partner.
Vendors ask for the business, but partners share their perspective of the synergies that have been identified and ask how to put a marriage together. One of my favorite vendor questions is, “what will it take to get your business today?” There was a lesson I learned at a very young age when using a similar approach. I was selling to someone and we offered a point of sale incentive for buying on the initial visit. After presenting this, the man stood up and said if the deal isn’t good tomorrow, it isn’t good today. It was over seventeen years ago, but I remember it as if it were yesterday. No one wants to be sold. Trite sales expressions create the vendor aura.
Vendors make sales, but partners formulate mutually beneficial relationships. This is all about matchmaking which will be explored further.
In the movie “Wedding Crashers,” true love is defined as the soul’s recognition of its counterpoint in another. Wouldn’t it be great if client relationships worked the same way? Well, they can and they do. When true business partnerships are formulated, both parties grow as a result. In essence, one plus one equals four. But how do you find a match?
As a sales person, it is all about the mindset. If you wake up each morning with the goal of selling something to someone, the likelihood that you will formulate a partnership is probably equal to, or less than, zero. Your mindset is about peddling your wares, not understanding and solving business problems. Business partnerships come together by identifying the synergies between organizations resulting in strong benefit for both.
The mindset of a matchmaker is very different than that of the traditional salesperson. Matchmakers wake up each morning with the goal of finding common bonds with business associates. Think of Velcro. The tighter the bond between the two surfaces, the more difficult it is to separate them. Thus, the ideal business partnership is created.
But what does it take to do this well? First, you have to master your half of the equation. You need to know every bit of what your company does and who the right audience is for it. You need to understand industry challenges and issues impacting your users. The best sales people are often viewed as industry experts because they understand the pertinent issues impacting their clientele. They have invested time to study and learn what is important to their clientele and mastered those elements. Most sales people never do this. They continue to repeat the same boring sales mantra over and over again. “Can I have your business, please?”
The second component is the ability to ask key questions of the potential business partner and synthesize the information. Launching questions into the air and failing to process the information is a common mistake. When preparing for the meeting, you should know what questions you will ask and the possible responses that you might hear. You can then prepare the appropriate direction for the conversation based on those responses. Another common mistake is asking questions that have little or nothing to do with matchmaking. There are just so many questions that someone will tolerate in one session, and in totality. Therefore, you need to ask the most relevant ones. Again, proper preparation on your part will help you to avoid this pitfall.
As a salesperson, there are a number of things you can do to establish partnerships instead of vendor relationships.
- Learn and understand your company’s capabilities so you can clearly articulate them.
- Study the industry you are in. Become well-versed on the issues impacting users of your product or service.
- Ask global questions to understand the overall perspective and direction of the company, not just relative to your solution.
- Analyze your client’s data. Ask questions of them and make recommendations based on responses.
- Focus on match-making, not selling.
Help your sales team leverage Adapt & Thrive!