Your dream client doesn’t have any way to know whether your company is better than your competitor’s. Nor are they likely to look for objective information to discern the differences. Trying to gain an advantage by starting with your company is ineffective because it doesn’t provide any real, actionable insights your dream client can use to decide.
Level 1 is a Zero
You believe that your product or service or solution is markedly better than your competitors. They believe that theirs is better. Both of you spend time trying to differentiate from your competitors in some meaningful way, including trying to tie what you sell to any preferences your dream client discloses. Remember, your dream client has no objective way to determine which of your solutions would better serve them, having never experienced either. You don’t help by providing them with information they can find on a website or sell sheet.
Proof Providing isn’t Proof
Maybe you provide your prospective client with references, people at companies that will vouch that you are an excellent partner. Your competitor may also provide a similar list, neither of you being so short-sighted as to provide any names and numbers of people who might say something that harm’s your chances of winning their business. What you believe to be proof isn’t strong evidence that your dream client should buy from you.
You Are the Experience
What, then, does your dream client have to go on when deciding whether to buy from you or your competitor?
First, they have the experience of working with you throughout the process. They are getting an idea of who has the best idea about why they need to change, how they need to change, and what’s important to them. They also get a feel for what it is going to be like to work with you and your company, whether you are collaborative, whether you can be trusted, and how you are going to respond to challenges.
Second, because deciding to buy from you is going to be visible to a lot of people on their team, they are gauging whether you are going to be acceptable—or better still, impressive—to the people you are going to interact with inside their company. Not only do you need to help them build consensus around change and the right solution, you are also being vetted to see whether the system is going to reject you.
You are the element of your company that your dream client is going to have the most experience with before they make a decision to buy from you or your competitor. Even if they use a spreadsheet to pretend that they are making an objective decision based on measurable criteria, you are a large part of their decision. This means you have to up your game as it pertains to creating a preference to work with you and your company.
You are, now more than ever, one of the largest components of the value proposition.
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