Promoting Commodities

“How do you create a perceived value to differentiate yourself from the competition when you are both selling a commodity?” That is a query I am typically requested in my enterprise to enterprise gross sales supervisor coaching and company gross sales coaching. It uncovers an issue that’s spreading to virtually each trade. The speedy tempo of technological improvement and our ultra-competitive international financial system implies that nobody can preserve a aggressive edge of their product for very lengthy. Develop a sizzling new services or products and earlier than you possibly can take your first test to the financial institution, a competitor has a warmer or cheaper model. Consequently, clients are an increasing number of inclined to view your services or products as a commodity – no actual distinction between you and the following man.

This complicates life for the gross sales individual. In some circumstances, you’re promoting precisely the identical factor as your competitor. I spent quite a few years promoting for a distributor who bought, for probably the most half, precisely the identical merchandise as 4 or 5 opponents. Lots of my shoppers work on this area. Lumber distributors (a bit of lumber is a bit of lumber), industrial fasteners (a screw is a screw is a screw), petroleum (87 octane gasoline is 87 octane gasoline), and so on. The checklist goes on and on. In different circumstances, your product might not be precisely the identical, however the buyer views your product as a commodity with no actual variations between what you promote and what your competitor provides. How a lot actual distinction is there between Coke and Pepsi in spite of everything? Whatever the state of affairs by which you end up, the issue for the gross sales individual is similar – getting the enterprise within the face of the client’s notion of your “me too” services or products. So, what do you do? That is what I normally says in my enterprise to enterprise gross sales supervisor coaching and company gross sales coaching: you should element and talk the essential methods your providing differs out of your competitor’s providing. That is simpler mentioned than achieved. To take action successfully, that you must spend a while pondering and getting ready. And that implies that you should fastidiously take into account the 2 most essential parts of the sale – your providing, and your buyer. On this column, we’ll deal with one a part of that equation – your providing.

Granted, your product could also be precisely the identical because the competitors, however the totality of your providing could also be dramatically completely different. I exploit the phrase “offering” to point each facet of the buying resolution – not simply the product. For instance, the client buys the product from an organization – yours or the opposite guys. The shopper buys it from a gross sales individual – you or the competitor. Your organization and you’re a part of the “offering.” As well as, there could also be variations in your phrases, supply, your customer-service capabilities, your follow-up, your return coverage, your value-added companies, and so on. All of those are a part of your “offering.”