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Being the best might be bad for business!

Are you turning off your prospects by telling them that your company, products, and services are the best?
Let me give you an example of what not to do with your positioning statement. For the last two decades, I’ve worked with many types of businesses, from Fortune 500 to small mom and pops. I have trained thousands of sales professionals throughout North America on how to become the Preferred Provider in the markets they serve.

Like you, my marketplace is highly competitive, and there are hundreds of sales coaches and consultants competing for the same business. Now here is something you should know about me!

“I’m the number one speaker and sales trainer in North America.”

“As you read that last statement, how do you feel about me? Does that statement make you want to keep plowing through this blog, or would you like to shred me digitally? If you were asked to describe me based on that opening positioning statement, would you use phrases like “He’s awesome,” “Very knowledgeable,” and “What an expert”? Or do words like jerk, cocky, and arrogant come to mind? During your next sales conversation, go into the prospect’s mindset when you start describing your company and products as best in class or number one in the industry. Are you scoring points and endearing them to you, or are you irritating them and turning them off? The universal goal of salespeople in sales conversations is to stand out and appear different than the competition in the eyes of the prospect. It’s very typical that in the first 10 minutes of the initial meeting, many salespeople can’t resist proclaiming the virtues of their company and products, which makes them look and sound like every other salesperson your buyer will see and ultimately turn off the prospect.

When you use the words best company, best products, or best service, you are most likely repelling the buyer rather than attracting them. The problem with using the phrase “the best” is that the best is subjective; it can’t be proven. (unless it can, but that’s rare) As a sales professional, when you make a claim that you can’t prove, you don’t build trust in the customer’s mind; instead, you create distrust. When you say it, the customer won’t believe you; when they say it, it becomes true. Try positioning “we’re the best” with professional buyers or procurement agents during your next sales conversation and watch their reactions. You will be quickly relegated to the same as all the rest categories or what I call commodity-ville.

Being different is better than being the “best.”
Imagine what’s happening in your customer’s mind when you use this dialogue during your next conversation. “Mr. Prospect, I don’t want to insult your intelligence by telling you that our products are the best in the industry. I’m sure you hear that enough from other salespeople. Today, my objective is to share with you how our solution is different from the competition and what our clients find most beneficial with our solutions. That way, you can determine if those differences are important to you”. This approach will set the tone for a refreshing and constructive meeting, so employ it early in your conversation.

Make your differences definable and defendable.
The message here is simple: Position your differences so that buyers perceive your solution as best for them without you saying it.

Kill the meaningless adjectives.
Are you using words and phrases like “high quality,” “innovative,” “leading edge,” “best in class,” or “we’re number one”? Most buyers think of these slogans as marketing malarkey. (a nice way of saying BS) Instead, demonstrate to the client how your product’s features and benefits are different from everyone else and how those differences will add value to the buyer. For example: try saying that your customers love your 99.9% uptime and reliability instead of saying that you are “the best in class.”

If you can’t prove your claim, don’t make it!
The most effective strategy for telling your customers that you’re the best is to get your customers to say it for you. Make sure you season your sales conversations with lots of testimonials, case studies, and positive reviews. Think of the last time you purchased something on Amazon. Did you trust the manufacturer’s description or check out all the reviews? The message is simple – Make sure you position your differences so that the buyers consider your solution to be the best for them, without you saying it.

About the Host, Michael

Michael Vickers inspires enduring success, redefining the possible for today’s sales professionals, leaders, and managers. Whatever the sales or business opportunity, Michael will greatly enhance your odds of success. Every person who has an idea to promote, an employee to motivate, or a deal to negotiate, will attain a new level of success after an event with Michael.

Michael is also the best-selling author of Becoming Preferred: How to Outsell Your Competition, and Dance of the Rainmaker: Creating Authentic Differentiation in Today's Competitive Marketplace, where he shares his secrets to achieving the very highest level of sales mastery.

Whatever the result you’re striving for, if it involves influencing others or achieving success through others, Michael will build your confidence and accelerate your performance.

Michael is the Executive Director of Summit Learning Systems, a company that offers customized in-house training programs to many of today’s leading companies. He teaches thousands of business professionals throughout North America the skills required to achieve optimum performance.

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