“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
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.
“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”)
“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"
“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
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”
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”
“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'
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
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®
“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
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"
“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
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"
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
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."
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
“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)
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"
One of the most critical decisions a company will make is the hiring of the right sales leader. However, many business owners and executives make the all too common mistake of restricting their search to those with industry experience. There is a feeling that the sales manager must come from their industry as that is the only way they will be successful in the role. Many put that element of their criteria at the top of their decision list. “The successful applicant will have 10 years experience in the widget industry.” Hogwash!
The end result of this approach is that companies hire the industry retreads. Perhaps, employers think that this person will bring along valuable competitive secrets, maybe even some clients. While that may occasionally happen, this approach negatively impacts the company. They may as well hang a sign outside that says, “No new ideas permitted” because that is what you get when you focus your search on industry people only. What often happens is that the individual gets hired because they can create the illusion of brilliance by using industry jargon to blind the interviewer. “Eureka! We’ve found our sales manager! She is very strategic!”
Every company thinks they are in an industry that is so unique and has so many nuances that the hire must have industry background. This is a scary approach! If that’s the feeling in the company, there is a much bigger issue that they face. How will they scale? If they always limit the search to those within the industry, what do they do when they run out of candidates? The fact is that most industry information can be taught. The company needs to get over their hubris thinking that their industry is so special that it takes an industry veteran to be successful. Product knowledge is not the main driver in a successful sales person, nor is it the primary one for the successful sales manager. Consider this, CEOs bounce from Fortune 1000 company to Fortune 1000 company based on their CEO acumen, not their industry knowledge.
A more prudent approach for hiring the right sales manager is to look for a candidate who comes to the table with the specialized skill set associated with a sales manager. Yes, this is a specialized skill set and, often times, is portable into any industry. The role of the sales manager is to both be a leader and a manager which is not usually skills developed in the womb. They are cultivated and developed through training and experience as a sales manager. Some of the elements that companies should be focused on when hiring the right sales manager include:
• Recruitment. Whether the company has an opening on the sales team or not, the best sales managers are on a never-ending quest for strong talent. As the prospective employer, you want to understand the candidate’s process for screening sales candidates. How do they prime the applicant pump? Can they develop a profile of the ideal sales person, and prioritize it between required and desired attributes? What is their process for evaluating candidates against the profile? Ask any company why they miss their revenue targets and most will tell you that having unfilled slots on the team is a contributing factor. Recruitment is a very important arrow in the sales manager’s quiver.
• Onboarding. Rarely can you hire a sales person, hand them their territory, and send them off with a good luck kiss. At least, not if you expect them to be successful. Another key skill of the sales manager is their method for quickly assimilating the sales person into the organization. What is their strategy to minimize the amount of time that the new sales person is in a non-revenue generating capacity? What is their plan to make them productive in the least amount of time? How do they measure whether or not the neophyte sales person is going to be successful?
• Process. Many companies have one superstar on their sales team, their rainmaker. That’s not exactly a scalable model. It limits growth and creates exposure for the company. What happens if the rainmaker leaves? Scalable sales organizations are based on process. The entire team follows a specified model based on a defined formula. Can this candidate create this process for the company? What experience have they had in doing so? And, what were the results?
• Metrics. There’s a wonderful expression about management. “What gets measured, gets done!” The wonderful aspect of sales is that there is so much data that can be reviewed to understand trends and make changes to the business. How the sales manager utilizes metrics in their approach is another element that is important to scrutinize as you interview the candidate. How have they used metrics to affect the performance of the team? What is their approach to scrutinize a sales pipeline or forecast?
• Compensation. The beauty of sales is that the compensation plan serves as the sales person’s job description. This can also be a curse for the company if the wrong behaviors are rewarded by the plan. This is another important skill that a strong sales manager should possess. What is their approach for developing the right compensation plan for the company? How do they determine which behaviors to reward and when/how?
• Skill Development. Sales is philosophy so no one ever knows everything about it. It’s also very easy for sales people to develop bad habits. Thus, it is critical that the sales manager have a skill development plan for their team. What is their approach for developing their team members? How do they inspire the overachievers to continue to overachieve? How do they manage the underperformers and lead them to either perform or deselect from the company?
• Leadership. The first six items fall into a management category. However, the strong sales managers are also leaders. Their sales teams will run through walls for them. Their sales people not only want to be successful for themselves, but also for their manager. How does this sales management candidate create an environment where others are inspired to follow them and their teachings? Leadership skills and salesforce retention work hand-in-hand. Strong leaders keep their strong players on the team for the long haul.
In addition to cultural fit, these are the seven key elements that a company should use to make a decision to hire a particular sales management candidate. What the employer will get with this hiring approach is a strong, scalable organization with fresh ideas. People in your company won’t be able to get away with the old mantra of “we’ve just always done it that way.” Don’t you want to drive your company to grow? Expand your horizons and reap the benefits. Taking this approach will help your company develop long-lasting, fruitful sales marriages.
Need help evaluating sales leadership talent? Download my FREE eBook – Top 100 Sales Leader Interview Questions.