Does Your Sales Pitch Make You Sound Like Everyone Else?
4 Insights to Help Create Your Competitive Advantage
“You guys all sound alike. I can’t tell you apart.”
If you’ve heard a response like this from a prospective buyer, there’s a good chance your marketing and sales pitch is selling the category and not differentiating you from the competition within the category.
For example, I’ll pick on my friends in the metal casting business. Let’s say the decision maker is a design engineer seeking a lightweight material for a complex component. He may be considering metal forgings, composites or castings. Most casting sales and marketing will do an excellent job differentiating the casting process against competing process categories (thin wall capabilities, design flexibility, close tolerance, etc.).
But, once the buyer is convinced to go with a casting, then the sales person must then convince the buyer to go with their Brand X casting rather than another casting company. That’s a little trickier. But, here are some insights to make it easier.
Let’s do a quick review. Remember, your competitive advantage should define your product or service’s unique feature set as well as the benefit your customer derives from those features. In addition, you’ll need to be able to prove or demonstrate your advantage in a meaningful and compelling way. So, if the buyer says, “Prove it,” you’ll be ready with some very good answers.
Here are 4 things to keep in mind to make those answers stronger:
- Specify. This is not the time to be vague. This is the time to provide precise details how the features of your product, service or process are better than the competition. For instance, if your company has better technology, then you need to be able to demonstrate how applying your technology creates a bigger benefit for the buyer. So, if the buyer needs an ultra thin internal wall and only you have the technology to produce it, then that’s your advantage.
- Quantify. Communicate your advantage in measurable terms and compare them to the competition. Or, if competitor data is not available, compare your progress to yourself. The point is to put it in terms that are valuable to the buyer, like shorter lead times.
- Monetize. Perhaps the most important measure is money. For every advantage claim, there should be a corresponding monetary value. It does not always have to be couched in terms of savings. The financial advantage story may be more complex. For instance, investing in a special alloy that only you offer might actually increase the per unit cost, but, increase yield. Do the math for the buyer to show the financial value of your solution. Of course, the numbers better add up.
- Warning. Make sure you connect the dots. Are you solving a problem the buyer doesn’t have? Defining your competitive advantages presupposes that you truly understand the needs and wants of your customers.
It is impossible to cover all of the complexities of creating competitive advantages in a single, short blog article. So, stay up to date with more topics like this and sign up for e-mail updates at http://kinneystrategy.com/subscribe