8. How can you seperate yourself from your competition?

"You have to separate yourself from the competition.  You have to be different.  You have to be better. If you really know what you are talking about, the customer feels it and starts trusting what you say."

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Give me one good reason why I should buy from you!

I get sales people calling me all the time.  You all look alike - sound alike - make the same promises, what makes you any different?

You have to separate yourself from the competition.  You have to be different.  You have to be better.

One of the best ways to separate yourself from the competition is to know everything there is to know about your products and services.  If you know what you are talking about, the customer feels it and starts trusting what you say.

The goal is not necessarily to be able to give very technical characteristics. The goal is to know the product so much in depth that you are able to simplify the complicated characteristics into powerful advantages for the client to use the product. This means applying what you learn by turning your product knowledge into benefits and presenting these benefits to your customers.

Attend all the presentations, seminars, courses and talks by renowned speakers that are available.   Don’t consider these an expense, but an investment to better yourself.

You will always learn from these presentations, seminars, courses and talks.  Accept all supplier invitations for sales, marketing or product information seminars.

When you have the opportunity to attend an industry convention or regional training function talk to people who are more successful than you are and learn everything you can from them.

After a while, from all the information you store in your mind from all these different sources, you develop your own style and your own recipes for success that work best for you.   This is the unique strategy that will keep you one step ahead of your competition.

Learning and self-improvement implies one essential feeling: the desire to be better, the desire to improve.

Many sales people are often surprised to find themselves dropping behind their competitors, but when they examine themselves, they find that they have stopped growing because they have ceased their effort to keep up with new selling techniques, new products and new marketing strategies.

Some people are so busy trying to learn the “tricks of the trade”, they never learn the trade.  Your ability as a sales person is always on the move, either one way or the other.  It is either getting better or getting worse.  Everything you do not use is slipping away.

Some sales people complain about having to attend sales meetings or training seminars.  Even if they knew everything offered by a training program, they still need the training.   The essence of successful training is to build confidence by helping to improve the skills you already have.

Seminars and sales meetings are a great place to start, however, it is ultimately up to you to improve your skills.  The person who continuously looks for new ideas and better methods of selling is the one who moves forward.

Commit to spending time every day learning more about your business.  One hour a day spent studying your business will make you one of the top international experts in your field in 5 years.

One of the most successful sales people I know is a manufacturers rep for a seafood company.  I first met him at a trade show where I asked him a question about a specific species of fish.  He reached in his brief case and pulled out a 3 ring binder that was about 3 inches thick.  This binder was filled with magazine articles, pictures, charts, newspaper clippings and notes that he had collected.  He was continuously collecting information about his specialty.  He was one of the most well informed sales people I have ever met, and is it any wonder he was so successful?

What are you doing to improve your knowledge and separate yourself from your competitor?  I once looked at all the books on selling I had on my shelf and thought about how much useful information is in them yet going unused.  I decided to do something bold.  I took the books one by one and cut out all the things I wanted to learn and apply.  I pasted the information on 3 x 5 cards and organized them by topic.  I began reviewing them every day until I knew them and experienced what I had learned.  Once you know something and then you do it with a conscious effort, you will really know it.  This was done 25 years ago and I still have the 3 x 5 cards today.  Many of the concepts are spread throughout this course. Today, whenever I buy a book I buy two.  One to keep and one to cut up.

It doesn't mater what system you use for increasing your knowledge bank, the important thing is that you learn and apply something new every day.  A good place to start is by reading, absorbing and APPLYING the course you are now taking.  As we previously discussed, APPLICATION is the key.


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