by Tom Reilly

“If you’re not unique, you better be cheap.” (Kevin Cope, Seeing The Big Picture)

If the only thing that differentiates you from the competition is your price, you have more than a pricing problem. You have a failure-to-differentiate problem. You can succeed as the low-cost provider. You can succeed as the differentiator. Try to do both, and you will fail.

Most salespeople I train cannot answer the question, “What are your definable and defendable differences?” Their bosses perform no better when I ask the question in pre-seminar briefings. Generally, I hear some combination of “good service,” “best quality,” or “people that care.” Really? That is the best you can do? If this is your answer, you blend in with the pack. Everyone says this.

More often than not, price objections are failure-to-differentiate objections. Buyers say, “I can buy that cheaper somewhere else—either down the street or on the Internet.” Your price is not too high; your differentiation is too low. A lack of differentiation is due to a lack of imagination, innovation, or courage. Blending in is a conscious decision not to stand out. Why is it so difficult to stand out? We were all born with different DNA. It is our God-given right to be different.

If there really is no difference between you and the competition, your management and marketing departments have failed you. If there are differences and you fail to articulate them, you have a sales communications problem. Either way, the customer sees no difference.

Again, you have a choice: You can be cheap or different. Plan to join us at the next Value-Added Selling seminar at our training center in St. Louis so we can help you understand what makes you different.

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