A Solution to What? – Differentiate or die – a buck at a time.

Scott and Christine walked up the hallway to grab some coffee from the pot near the receptionist’s desk. When they returned to Christine’s office, he said, “Do you have time to walk me through my next call on Dr. Wright? I’d like to tell you I understand Action Selling well enough to know exactly what to do now that you’ve pried my eyes open, but we’ve already established that I need to make some changes.”

Christine smiled. “You mean that instead of a route, you’ve been in a rut. And now you want to change that, beginning with Dr. Wright?” You’ve been acting like an order-taker, not a salesperson, she thought.

“A rut instead of a route. Yeah, that’s exactly what I’ve been in,” Scott said. “I’ve been making my route calls without a real plan. Instead of acting, I’ve just been reacting. But no more.”

“OK,” Christine said. “Let’s start with your overall goal. What is it that you want to accomplish with customers like those at Dr. Wright’s office?”

“Action Selling told me to be a consultant with a purpose.”

Scott thought about the question for a while. “I want to do what Action Selling told me I should always do,” he finally said. “I want to be a consultant with a purpose. When I walk into a customer’s office, I don’t want them to say, ‘Oh, here’s Scott. How are we fixed for cotton rolls and how much is he charging?’ I want them to be excited to see me.”

“You want them to be excited because you’ve become a valuable contributor to their business strategy?” Christine asked.

“Right. I need to differentiate myself, and I don’t want the differentiating factor to be price. I want to offer a solution that adds value in the customer’s eyes — something that gives the client a reason to buy from me even though I might charge more for something like a bottle of disinfectant. I want to take the focus off which supplier is offering the lowest price this month. I want the competition’s next flyer to be irrelevant.”

“It sounds like you don’t just want to sell more to Dr. Wright, you want to sell more at a higher margin,” Christine said.

“Yes, that too. I’d like to be able to differentiate from the competition even if our basic products appear to be the same.”

Commitment Objectives don’t just move me closer to a sale; they move the customer closer to a solution.
“Good,” Christine said. “And how can you use Action Selling to achieve those goals…?”

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).