Do you remember when you took tests in high school or college and there were more than one correct answer? Sometimes the answer was “It depends.” The answers to your sales strategy questions are like that. Here are some questions that you should determine. The answers may surprise you.
Who is your competition?
You must know who your competition is to be successful at sales. Why? All your strategies are going to be based on whom you must compete with. Tougher competition requires you to do more. Less active competition allows you more freedom to make different decisions that are more favorable to you and your business.
You may think that your competition is another company selling the same product type that you do. That would be incorrect. The answer to “Who is your competition?” is not only “It depends,” but really “More than you think.” Here’s why.
Think about a college university. You may think that the competitor of a university is another university or college. That really doesn’t address who your competition is. The people who are consuming the product, students, aren’t (mostly)paying for the product. Your buyer is someone else. You should look for your competition there.
The people, mostly parents, who are paying for a college education could take that money and spend it in other areas. The competitors for a college degree are retirement and health care.
Think about what your customers could be doing with their purchasing dollars as you look at your own product or service. What else could they be buying instead of your product? Now consider what you are doing to address that choice.
How could your prospect be better off by buying from you instead of purchasing any of the other options? What sales strategy can you implement so that you communicate that the other choices have consequences? Do you even know the consequences?
What is your competitive advantage?
You’re going to leverage your competitive advantage when you sell. You might start to look for your competitive advantage by comparing your product’s performance to other products. Surely it is a competitive advantage if your product clearly exceeds your competitor’s performance.
Remember the days when Apple wowed their customers? Not having to buy virus protection on a computer was a clear performance advantage for the Apple computers. Their iPads were clearly superior to laptops in their functionality as well as portability. Product performance is just a part of your competitive advantage. Don’t limit yourself to your product or services’ performance when you look at your competitive advantage today.
How easy are you to do business with? What do your customers want? Most customers today don’t want to wait to make their purchases. They expect their receipt to be emailed to them as they’re walking out with their product. That happens on-line and more frequently in face-to-face sales. Are you making it easy for your customers to shop and buy the way they prefer?
Is your work correct the first time? That’s part of your competitive advantage. Customers today don’t want to experience rework on their time. You will get customers if you demonstrate to them that buying from you saves them time later.
The answers to these sales strategy questions are what you need to know to be successful when you sell your products or services. The one test you want to pass is the test of making the sale.