“A commodity is any good, service or product that can be produced by any number of firms, and the only distinguishing feature between these firms is who can do it the cheapest. Having your service or product being turned into a commodity is no fun because it means your profit margins will become razor thin, you will have dozens of competitors and all you can do every day is make that product or service cheaper and sell more of it than the next guy, or die.” from Thomas Friedman’s book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree.
- How competitive is your business?
- What are you doing to separate yourself from the competition?
Seth Godin talks a lot about being remarkable so you stand out like a purple cow. What would happen if you saw a purple cow? You would stop and take notice wouldn’t you?
Are you asking the same questions your competition is asking? If so, you will never differentiate yourself. When you act and sound like your competition, the prospect or customer will always gravitate to the cheapest price.
The best way to get to the core of your prospects thought process is by asking questions that allows them to think about their key issues differently. When the prospect thinks about their key issues differently, the solutions become obvious. Stop telling your prospect or client what your product or service will do for them. Ask them!
Let me share with you a couple of examples:
Commercial Insurance: “What strategies have you implemented that will reduce your exposure to risks you may be unaware of?”
Investment Advisor: “What steps have you taken that provide you with fiduciary risk protection?”
HR Consultant: “What ideas or strategies do you have to reduce key employee turnover and increase employee satisfaction?”
By asking this type of a question it allows the prospect or client to come to his own conclusion.
Stop telling and start asking what I call “Opportunity Questions”. It is easy to create an “Opportunity Question”. Take the problems that you solve or the pain you eliminate and create a question. With each one of the questions above I have identified a key problem and created a question.
Stop doing a feature dump all over you prospects.
If you act and sound like everyone else you will commoditize yourself like Thomas Friedman talked about, it will always come down to price.
Recently I was listening The New Business Podcast by Chis Ducker -http://www.chrisducker.com Episode 42: The Business of You: Why Building Your Brand is Paramount To Success! In this episode he talked about how when he started out there was a ton of competition. How am I going to build this business with so much competition? Then he realized there was no one like him on the planet. That was his competitive edge.
I have said this for years. You are the product. People buy from you. Yes, you may represent a company or brand but at the end of the day, if people didn’t like and trust you they would buy from you. It’s that simple.
So the question then becomes… What can you do to be remarkable and stand out?
Instant Sales Nugget: It’s in the details. It’s the small things that you do in life that make the big difference and make you remarkable.