“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”)
“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)
“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"
“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"
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
“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
“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'
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
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”
“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"
“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
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
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
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
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"
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"
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."
“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
David walks into Mr. Stevens’ office for a first meeting. He shakes Mr. Stevens’ hand, opens his briefcase and proceeds to lecture about the greatness of his products. The harangue lasts about 45 minutes. As he continues to talk, David packs up his materials, again shakes Mr. Stevens’ hand, and walks out of the office.
He’s barely out of the building when he calls his sales manager to debrief on the meeting. “I told him about our latest products and all the great colors that it comes in. It was a great meeting…I talked the whole time…We are going to get this deal!”
Anyone who has been in sales for even a minute can see the glaring flaw in this meeting. The sales person talked the entire time and presented features and benefits without knowing what his prospect needed. David completely missed the needs analysis part of the meeting which is the most critical part of any sales process.
As you know, the life of a recruiter parallels that of a sales person. Recruiters need to develop a needs analysis strategy when recruiting sales candidates just like sales people do when pursuing prospects. Lecturing candidates on how wonderful the company is does not bring about any more excitement than it did for Mr. Stevens. Sales managers often refer to that approach as throwing darts while blindfolded. A candidate recruiting strategy using David’s approach is destined for the same fate.
No such thing as a great sales person. To develop your needs analysis strategy, you need to start with a foundational question. What is your goal for the sales recruiting process? “It’s obvious…hire great sales people!” Wrong! Folks, there is no such thing as a great sales person. You read correctly. Don’t believe me? How many of these so-called great sales people have been hired by your company and have failed? How can you explain this rockstar failing in your company? If you believe that great sales people exist, then the explanation for their failure is one of two things. Your company is the absolute worst for which to sell. Or, the sales person completely forgot how to sell when they arrived on your doorstep. There is no door number three.
A sales person’s success isn’t just based on their sales skills. Success is based on the synergistic match of needs, wants, and desires between the role and the sales person. This means that the goal of the process is to serve as a matchmaker between these two entities. In essence, you are formulating a sales marriage between the candidate and the firm.
Who do you want to hire? The first step is to develop a profile of your ideal sales candidate and prioritize the attributes between required and desired ones. Just like the sales person needs a profile of the ideal client, the recruiter needs a profile of the ideal candidate to develop their needs analysis strategy. This detailed, written description presents a comprehensive picture of the successful candidate for the role. This document serves as the basis for the entire sales talent screening program. Interviews, mock role plays, and assessments should compare the candidate to this profile. The needs analysis strategy should be geared toward identifying synergies, or lack thereof, between the candidate and the opportunity.
Knowing what to ask and when.In sales, the needs analysis serves a number of purposes including exposing prospects that are more like suspects. The same goes for the recruiter. Part of the needs analysis strategy is to quickly identify fatal flaws in the candidate that would remove him or her from employment consideration. They say if you are going to lose, lose early.
Ah, but what are those areas for the recruiter to explore? It comes back to the profile of the ideal candidate. Those areas that are deemed “required” attributes of the successful candidate provide the exploration list. For example, if one of the requirements in the profile is that the candidate must have extensive experience selling services in the C-suite, a question asking about the candidate’s prowess in doing so brings this to light.
Getting ready to propose.When a sales person conducts an effective needs analysis, they gather information that helps them develop the scope for a proposal including pricing. However, asking intimate questions about the prospect’s current situation cannot be effectively done unless the sales person has earned the right to do so. It may occur in a first meeting, but it may be a little later in the process. However, the strong seller knows that they can’t develop a winning proposal without knowing as much as possible about the current situation.
The same holds true when you get to the offer stage of the sales talent screening program. When you reach the time to extend an offer, much like the well-skilled sales person, the expectation is that it will be accepted. Who has time to waste on prospects who aren’t going to buy? It’s a rather ugly day for the sales rep who gets blind-sided by a competitor who wins the account.
The recruiting experience is much the same. Making a huge investment in a candidate only to lose them to another opportunity is costly and wasteful. A recruiter should never be surprised by a candidate rejecting an offer because it was $20,000 lower than what they were looking for. This requirement should have been uncovered and worked through well-before the offer stage…during the needs analysis.
As part of the needs analysis strategy, the recruiter also needs to know what it will take for a candidate to leave their current employer, if they are looking at other opportunities, and where this opportunity ranks in contrast with the others…just to name a few. Keep in mind that the number one killer of sales pipelines is status quo…the decision to do nothing. The common cause of this affliction is a poor needs analysis strategy. The same holds true when recruiting. If the candidate elects to keep their current position, your needs analysis strategy may be the root cause of status quo keeping the candidate from accepting the position.
The big picture is that every question asked in the needs analysis strategy must have a purpose which is to identify the matches to the ideal candidate profile. The stronger the match, the stronger your sales marriage. If you would like my tip sheet on developing an effective sales recruiting needs analysis strategy, send me an email.