Differentiation Is Key To Winning Sales
With interactive exercises for the audience and examples of successful positioning statements from established brands, speaker Larry Mersereau guided his keynote luncheon audience through the steps that can transform strangers into evangelists during his Monday presentation, “Stand Out! Selling From A Position Of Power.”
Mersereau believes every salesperson should be able to give three reasons why a prospect should give them their business. “Make these three reasons into bullet points, and put them on your website,” he suggests.
He also encouraged attendees to draft a positioning statement that will help them refine their messaging. Positioning statements can be “cooked down” into simple, effective taglines that concisely express a brand’s value proposition.
Mersereau says salespeople should always include their taglines on their business cards. “It’s imperative for people to see at a glance what makes you different,“ he says. As examples, Mersereau shared FedEx’s original tagline--“absolutely, positively overnight”--as well as taglines from Hertz and Maytag.
“Make your tagline something that means something ... that’s simple, and easy to understand,” he says.
He emphasized the importance of taking a prospect on the full journey from total stranger to brand evangelist, by making sure prospects recognize and are aware of a brand’s value proposition, and then move from acceptance to preference for that brand, before becoming loyal customers and, finally, evangelists.
Drilling down to the level of the individual salesperson, Mersereau presented his audience with a number of traits, and asked them to pinpoint the five traits that they felt make a Sales Superstar. Among his own Top 5, Mersereau counts product knowledge, preparation and a positive attitude as traits that help ensure prospects will make the journey from total stranger to brand evangelist.
Mersereau also laid out the four market positions that most promotional professionals find themselves in:
Market Leader—usually the oldest and biggest brand
Market Challenger—plays at the same level as the leader
Market Follower—builds business around offering a lower price
Market Nicher—offers something no other brand does; demonstrates differentiation
“When we’re in a sales conversation, we want to be able to compare ourselves favorably to the competition, and [market] positioning is a great way to do it,” says Mersereau.