Solution Selling Success: Set Yourself Apart through Differentiation
To succeed at selling solutions, you need to set yourself apart. It’s all about differentiating your company and your solutions from the rest of the pack. In essence, you need to answer the question, “What makes you unique?”
If you can craft your value proposition in a way that captures the gist of what you offer that the competition does not, you significantly boost your chances of gaining the attention of the marketplace and winning new customers. It is all about putting together, in one or two sentences, your unique selling proposition. With a powerful and differentiated value proposition you can create a sense of clarity, relevance and urgency. Done right, it should help attract target clients, distance you from the competition and allow for premium pricing for your services.
The first step is to define your ideal target customer where you should win the majority of the time. For example, at LSA Global, we focus on:
• business executives and strategic HR leaders
• of fast growing, performance-driven, and US-based high tech, life sciences and professional services firms
• with between $100m and $5b in revenue
• that differentiate themselves through people
• are stretched thin from a resource or expertise perspective
• and are facing a strategy, culture or talent inflection point that is putting performance at risk
Once your ideal target client is clear and agreed to among all key stakeholders, you need to define what truly differentiates you from the competition in the eyes of those buyers. In other words, what makes you better, faster and/or cheaper than the alternatives. At LSA Global, we differentiate ourselves based upon our ability to “Move a metric that our clients care most about by aligning their culture and talent with their strategy.” This allows our clients to:
• Grow 72% faster
• Be 58% more profitable
• Retain employees who are 17x’s more engaged
We stand behind this promise with a pay-for-performance model, a research-based organizational alignment methodology, and a deep pool of elite experts. Clients who truly want to avoid the culture and talent mistakes that keep so many great strategies from becoming a reality are a great fit for us.
Here are some solution selling training guidelines as you seek to agree upon your competitive edge:
• Make your value proposition as specific and relevant as you can.
Overly grand and inclusive wording does not set you apart nor does it wield the impact you want. Make sure that how you differentiate yourself resonates strongly with your target clients compared to the alternatives available to them.
• Make your value proposition simple.
Use vocabulary and sentence structures that make it easy on your readers. If they struggle to understand your point, they’ll skip your message and move on. Use concise and intriguing language that will encourage potential customers to dig deeper.
• Include compelling facts in your value proposition.
If you can add specific numbers or compelling statistics, do so. Your prospects should understand not only what you do that distinguishes you from the competition but how much better you do it and how that drives meaningful results for your customers.
• Avoid jargon in your value proposition.
Overused words or specialized vocabulary does not put you in the position of an expert. Instead, you join the crowd of those who rely on trite speech or a kind of officialese.
• Keep your value proposition short and concise.
Remember that you have only 30 seconds at the most to hold the attention of your target client. Use it well and focus on what matters most to them.
• Be able to back up your value proposition.
Making a promise is one thing. Being able to deliver it is another. The more impressive your value proposition, the more you will need proof to substantiate your claims and minimize your client’s perception of the risks of working with you.
If you can express your value proposition in a compelling, persuasive way, you have opened the door to premium pricing, improved brand awareness and increased customer loyalty.