“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
“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
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
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"
“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
“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"
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
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
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
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
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"
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
“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)
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”
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"
“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”)
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.
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 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'
It was a dog-fight, but you won! You fought off your competitors who were all pursuing the same sales candidate. The candidate accepted your offer. Time to wipe the sweat off your brow. Spike the ball! You are the winner! The hard work is over, at least until they arrive for their first day. Oh, that’s right. They’re going to show up and need to be taught stuff. Maybe you shouldn’t have spiked that ball yet. Perhaps, this is more like a boxing match and you won the round, but there are more rounds to go.
You may find my next statement shocking. There is no such thing as a great sales person. You read correctly. Don’t believe me? How many sales people have you hired with great pedigrees that have failed in your company? Five? Ten? Dozens? Assuming that the resume was an accurate representation of their skills and accomplishments, if they were truly a great sales person, how could they fail? Did they hit their head on a drawer and forget how to sell? Is it a flaw in your company?
They didn’t forget how to sell, nor is your company the issue. The issue is the word “great.” Greatness is an attribute of the relationship synergy between a company and a sales person. Assuming that you have done a great job in identifying the right sales talent for your company, the key to having a long-term, fruitful sales marriage is your process for assimilating the new sales person into your culture.
Some companies refer to the assimilation process as “new hire training.” New hire training typically comes in one of two forms. There is the “fire hose” program whereby the company throws everything they have at the neophyte sales person in their first week of employment. Retention is minimal. Frustration is high. The other new hire training program is the “osmosis” program. This approach includes letting the new sales person figure it out on their own. It’s usually developed with the theme, “If he is really a great sales person, he will figure it out on his own.” In both of those cases, companies are often unpleasantly surprised by high-turnover, underperformance, and a constant mantra of “I need a lower price.”
Once upon a time, major companies had wonderful sales training programs where new team members would undergo months of classroom training before they were ever allowed in front of a prospect. Economic pressures have squeezed many of those programs into non-existence. In most cases, the responsibility of getting new sales people up to speed falls on the sales leadership team. Assimilating new sales people is a critical skill that every sales leader must master.
Let’s put aside the term new hire training program. It’s blasé and usually lacks the necessary structure and metrics to be valuable to you. How about developing a RAP™ for your new hire assimilation… The Revenue Accelerator Program.
There is a window of time that begins on the sales person’s first day and ends at some point in the future. This window is their non-revenue producing time period. They aren’t generating one penny toward helping you achieve your corporate revenue goal. The basis of RAP™ is that you structure a program that allows you to minimize the size of that window so that sales people move into a revenue production mode more quickly. Easy to say, it is much more difficult to put into practice. There are three steps to developing your RAP™.
What do they need to know? The first step is to identify all of the things that a sales person needs to know to be successful in your company. Don’t worry about prioritizing this list. Write everything down including: completing new hire paperwork, learning your CRM, meeting key people, how the compensation plan works, discovering your product, etc. The list should also identify people the new sales person should meet and what they will learn from them.
The list is going to be huge. That’s to be expected. It should be a comprehensive list. No detail is too small. Keep thinking… What do they need to know to be successful in this company?
When do they need to know it? Now you have a comprehensive list. Resist the temptation to turn on the fire hose. The next step is to identify the prioritization of the new sales person learning this information. They don’t need to know everything today, nor can you effectively teach that way. With adult learning, it is important to chunk the information in such a way that allows them the opportunity to learn it. Hour after hour of lecture or reading will accomplish little. Each segment should be 60-90 minutes at most if you plan for the new hire to retain the information.
There should also be logic to the program flow. Each day and week, the new hire should be building their foundation. Solid foundations lead to long tenures and strong results. Plot each of the identified items in a weekly schedule. From there, you can break it down to a daily program.
You are probably wondering how long a RAP™ should be. There is no standard answer for that. It is based on the level of complexity of the sales environment. In some companies, it is a few days. In others, it is a few weeks. And in others, it lasts for months. The bottom-line goal is to help sales people move to revenue-generation mode as quickly as possible.
Do they know it? This is the area where the traditional new hire program falls down. You invest a ton of time and resources in the new sales reps, but how do you evaluate their assimilation? The key is to develop a testing process. At various intervals of RAP™, the sales person is tested on the teachings of the program. For example, at the end of teaching them about your product, provide a written test to see how well they know the information. Imagine the embarrassment of a sales person misrepresenting a product because they didn’t know how it worked and what it did. Of course, that never happens.
If one of their responsibilities as a sales person is to deliver the corporate presentation, develop a scored testing session where they deliver the presentation to a group. Have the participants and an observer score the session. Why lose a deal because your sales person was ineffective in delivering the corporate message.
Do they have a strong game plan for pursuing prospects? Have them submit a territory plan that includes their approach. It could save you three-months of the sales person going down the wrong path.
As mentioned before, the bottom-line goal of RAP™ is to minimize the time the sales person is on the bench. One of the added benefits of RAP™ is the ability to determine sink or swim early in the sales person’s tenure. How many times have you let a sales person go after an 18-month investment because they could not cut the mustard? Could you have gathered data in their first few months that would have allowed you to coach the person to success or counsel them out of your company? Either of those options is better than a failed 18-month investment. Build your RAP™ and enjoy the results.