I keep hearing that making sales today is more difficult than in the past. The trouble is, I’ve heard the same thing for 30 years. One of the first questions I ask salespeople at the beginning of any training session is: “Would you say that selling is more challenging now than in the past?” I asked the same question in 1990, and I got the same unanimous response I get today. In every case, 100% of salespeople agree that selling is now more challenging.

And why is that, I ask? The No. 1 answer used to be: “It’s harder to differentiate our product from the competition.” Today I’m more likely to hear: “The internet creates more-educated buyers. When we first meet them, they are further along in their decision cycle than ever before.”

But, you know what? The concern about the internet actually just translates to the same issue as in the past: The customer knows more about the competition’s products and services, which are a whole lot like ours. Therefore, it’s harder to differentiate our products and services.

If you want to be a value leader, not a bargain-basement price leader, you need to create a sustainable differentiator. The question is, how?

You need to create a sustainable differentiator. The question is, how…?

Duane Sparks

About Duane Sparks

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).