Being different and standing out from the crowd means not only marketing yourself differently than your competition, it also means doing the opposite of what your prospects and clients expect. Think of this in terms of baseball; if the batter expects you to throw a fastball – and that’s what you do, you’re at an incredible disadvantage. However, if the batter expects you to throw a fastball and you instead throw a backdoor slider, then the advantage is yours. This is no different in sales.
To be different as a salesperson, you need to stop doing some of the activities that is ingrained from years of sales training and management. One trait sales training seminars always stress is the importance of enthusiasm. While I agree that one must be enthusiastic to achieve success, too many take the concept too far. Being excessively enthusiastic comes across as disingenuous and turns people off. If you walk into a car dealer and a salesperson is overly excited and starts telling you which car is best, what do you immediately want to do? Walk out the door.
Instead, think of yourself as a doctor rather than a salesperson. When you go to the doctor with a ruptured Achilles, the doctor doesn’t say, “I’m SO glad you came in today because I have the perfect solution for YOU! You are going to LOVE the fantastic surgery I can perform to reattach your tendon! If you choose me and my office to do your surgery, you will NOT be disappointed. It’s truly that awesome!”
A doctor asks you about your history, attempts to understand your current ailment, inquires about your level of pain and what activities you might have done to cause the pain. When you mirror the same dynamic in selling situations, you replace the false enthusiasm with a genuine desire to understand your prospects pain and determine how you can best help them.
Unfortunately, most prospects and clients are conditioned to deal with the false enthusiasm many salespeople project. Instead of blending in with the over-caffeinated competition, take a much more real and consultative approach – ask questions, diagnose the problem, and offer a real solution.