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"
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
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
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.
“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"
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"
“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
“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)
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."
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"
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®
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
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
“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”)
“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”
“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'
“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"
“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”
“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
My wife Sharon and I dated for exactly two years before I proposed to her. Over our two year courtship, I got to know her likes and dislikes. I understood her goals in life and her aspirations. She knew the same about me. On July 24, 1996, in the White House Rose Garden (true story), I asked Sharon to marry me. She excitedly agreed. What might have been her response if she didn’t feel like she knew me well enough to make that kind of commitment? Would she still have accepted?
What if during the entire time we were courting, I kept my hand close to the vest? In essence, what if I shared little about myself and what I wanted from life, but asked lots of questions of Sharon to understand her? Would she have enough information to make an informed, educated decision on whether she should take her relationship with me to the next level? Probably not. Perhaps, she would have declined the offer outright if she saw that my goals were completely different than hers.
That scenario may seem silly to you. You probably think that it would be a rarity that someone would propose without letting their significant other get to know them to a level where they could both make an educated decision on the future of the relationship. If you think that, you are probably right. However, my question is why do companies create a one-dimensional process when they screen sales candidates?
I’ve always been a firm believer that when the time came for me to make an offer to a candidate, taking the ring out of my pocket, both the candidate and I had enough information to make an educated decision. My expectation is that when I make an offer, the candidate will accept/decline on the spot. More often than not, I received an acceptance of the offer.
What is the secret to doing that well? The key is to create your sales talent screening program such that it is two-dimensional. You want to gather data about the candidate so that you can make a solid decision. Most companies get that. However, the goal is to also create an environment where the candidate has the same evaluation opportunity. That is the second dimension.
What does a candidate need to know to make an informed decision on a sales position?
One important consideration for candidates is culture. Some companies, to save money, conduct their interviews entirely by phone and only bring finalists to Corporate. After a day of interviewing with some executives, the team makes an offer/no offer decision. However, the entire process has been a one-dimensional exercise where the company has gathered key information, but the candidate has not.
The decision to join your company is not taken lightly by sales candidates. They need to be able to evaluate the culture to see if there is a good fit. While they come to the table with the skills, they have to determine if they can apply those skills successfully in your world. Thus, the candidates need to be immersed into your environment so they can analyze your culture to a level that allows them to make an informed decision on the relationship.
One of the best ways to share the sales culture with candidates is through reverse interviewing. The way this is done is that you select a seasoned member of the sales team to conduct a reverse interview with the sales candidate. However, the interviewer doesn’t ask any questions, thus the expression reverse interview. This is an opportunity for the candidate to ask questions of a potential peer. The candidate should be encouraged to ask questions that will best help them best understand the sales culture.
There is also a tremendous benefit to employers in immersing the sales candidates in the culture. Every company has a story about someone they hired and six months into the relationship, they recognize that the person doesn’t fit with the culture. The sales person recognizes it too. Then, the relationship is terminated. A six-month investment has gone down the tubes with nothing to show for it. Had the company allowed the candidate to experience the culture during the screening process, perhaps he would have removed himself from consideration so that both the candidate and employer could have been spared the pain of this experience.
Years ago, I was interviewing with a company in Bethesda, Maryland. The entire process had gone well. The recruiter called me and said that the C.E.O. would like to take my wife and me to dinner as a final step of the process. What he shared at dinner was that he felt that it was important for my wife to understand the company and the opportunity. He wanted her to have an opportunity to ask questions and understand the plans for the company. This made an incredible impression on both my wife and me. Needless to say, when the offer came the next morning, I accepted and enjoyed a great experience with the company. A great sales marriage!
Another important element in this decision-making process for sales people is the direction of the company. Sales people look to join organizations that have a solid game plan. They have to be passionate about their company and product to be successful. Yet, I hear from many candidates that the company with whom they interviewed did not share it with them. I recognize that there is sensitivity toward letting out trade secrets, however, that lack of sharing can cause the sales candidate to be unimpressed with your company. The secretive nature of your company could also send up a red flag of paranoia. If you are really concerned about trade secrets, have the candidate sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). If you are still uncomfortable, design a message to share with the candidates that is compelling, but does not create risk for your organization.
The final element for review by the candidates is the compensation package. They need to understand the mechanics of the compensation plan. Many companies tell candidates the potential earnings based on achieving the goal of the plan (quota). Few take the candidate through the plan as part of the sales talent screening program. “The plan is designed to target your earnings at $150,000, but we’ll get into how the program works when you are onboard.”
Yeah, that doesn’t work for sales people. They need to know in-depth how they make money. The same holds true for benefits. Share the benefits program with candidates during the sales talent screening program. Show them the costs of the program. Provide them with a Human Resources contact so that they can ask questions about the benefits.
The offer stage of the process should be a formality, just like a marriage proposal. Ladies don’t expect their significant other to pull a rabbit out of their pocket. They expect a ring. Your sales candidates shouldn’t be surprised either. The offer should be consistent with what they have learned about during your screening process. No surprises!