When I first started getting involved in Sandler Training, the importance of acting and being different stood out to me. If you're walking down the street with a lot of ordinary-looking people and suddenly someone walks by with a bright-colored mohawk, you can't help but look.
Different stands out!
The challenge is that most of us don't understand what "different" means. We claim that our customer service makes us different, or maybe how long we've been in business. The problem is that our competition is saying the exact same thing.
Sandler Rule #35 says, "If your Competition Is Doing It, Stop Doing It Right Away." That's one of the best ways to stand out!
That doesn't mean if your competition has a website, you should take yours offline. If their website is filled with features and benefits, maybe yours shouldn't be—or if they offer free samples, perhaps you shouldn't.
Disrupt the patterns set by your competition. If you want to stand out, figure out the patterns that don't benefit you so you can break those patterns.
Show up and follow up
Showing up and following up is one of the best ways to stand out. It's incredible how many people are terrible at that!
Did someone leave you a message? Call them back. Did a prospect text you? Text them back. Did they email you? Email them back. Having a follow-up plan is huge!
Another great way to stand out is to focus on uncovering information rather than gathering information. Your value as a salesperson is determined by the amount of information you gather from your prospects, not the amount of information you dispense.
If your competition calls three companies, two of them show up and do presentations without any information, and you show up and ask questions, you're going to stand out. It's crazy how much better sales interactions become when you show up to learn and gather information rather than trying to do a pitch.
Establish clear next steps
Most salespeople are horrible at establishing clear next steps. A great way to stand out is to let your prospect know what will happen after talking with them.
It takes some guts when you first start, but saying something like this when scheduling a meeting makes a huge difference: "Joe, when we meet together, one of two things is likely to happen. You may decide you have no desire to do business with us, and that's great. Second, you may decide you do want to do business with us. Before we leave the meeting, we'll figure out what the next steps need to be and who needs to be involved."
Have good bonding and rapport
Perhaps the best way to stand out is to focus on what we in Sandler like to call bonding and rapport. Now, that's not something cheesy like asking about someone's photo in their office or claiming you like the same sports team as them when you really don't.
Good bonding and rapport is all about subconscious comfort. That comes from connecting with people on things that matter to them. If they're a fast decision-maker, have you created an environment where they can make a decision quickly? Or if they're a slow decision-maker, have you let them know you don't expect a decision right away? If they like many details, are you ready to share details with them that are important to them?
These are four great ways to stand out from the competition in a good way, not a cheesy or manipulative way. That may sound simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy. If you need help standing out from your competition, we would be glad to have a conversation.