When in a sales meeting with a good prospect, what can you say that convinces the buyer you are the one for the job? What statements can you make that build confidence in your buyer about you and/or that puts some doubt in your buyer’s mind about the competition? Having strong marketing statements ready to help “seal the deal” or to overcome an objection are critical to separating you from the competition and closing the sale.
This article focuses on three different types of marketing messages that can be used in a sales meeting: 1) the Killer Argument, 2) Key Discriminators and 3) Ghosting Discriminators. These marketing messages have been developed by top marketers because they answer the logical and emotional questions that most buyers have, and they allow you to differentiate yourself.
The Killer Argument
The “killer argument” concept comes from Dale Carnegie and focuses on communicating the fact that “you’ve done this before”. For example, you are pitching an inventory system to a wholesaler and you say, “Earlier this year we installed a system with virtually the exact requirements for another wholesale company and they are very pleased with it.” A statement like that reduces the risk your buyer might have about your capabilities.
However, sometimes you haven’t done it before. So a good salesperson might say something like, “one of our closest technology partners has those exact capabilities, and combined with our support, you can have an inventory system that’s more accurate.” This doesn’t have the same impact the earlier statement has, but it will likely instill some confidence with your buyer that keeps you in the deal.
As always, you want to be completely honest with your buyer, and no company can do it all. So when you haven’t done the exact thing your buyer seeks, you just have to be a bit creative at times in order to instill confidence in your buyer that you have the capabilities to do the job and do it right.
The concept of “key discriminators” in the sales environment comes from the book “How to Become a Rainmaker” by Jeffrey Fox, and is similar to a competitive difference or unique selling proposition. It answers the buyer’s question, “why should I do business with you”, or as I often ask “what makes you so special?”
You need to be able to articulate your “key discriminator”. For example, my firm, WebStrategies Inc., is the only Google Search and Analytics Partner in the state of Virginia. That’s a “key discriminator” that separates us from the competition. You can learn more about “key discriminators” by going to “How to Showcase Your Competitive Advantages”.
You should think about and craft your “key discriminators”. You may not have one that’s truly unique to you, but there are things about you and your firm that are competitive differentiators. One final note – whatever you do, don’t claim your “key discriminator” is good customer service unless you can prove it. Everyone says their customer service is good but if you can’t prove it, it will go in one ear and out the other.
The concept of “ghosting discriminators” also comes from “How to Become a Rainmaker”. It relates to statements you can make that imply a weakness in your competition and put a doubt in your buyer’s mind about the competition.
You never want to disparage your competition but you can say things that imply they have shortcomings. For example, saying something like “we are the only firm that delivers on time consistently” implies the competition does not and puts some doubt in the buyer’s mind that if he chooses the competition there could be delivery problems. Another way to say it is “unlike our competition, we deliver on-time consistently”.
Think about what your firm does better than the competition. Think about your competition’s shortcomings. Unlike the “key discriminator”, it doesn’t have to be unique. Then, prepare some “ghosting discriminators” that are effective at putting doubt in your buyer’s mind about the competition.
Having “killer arguments”, “key discriminators” and “ghosting discriminators” marketing statements ready to roll off your tongue at the right moments during a sales meeting will instill confidence in your buyer’s mind and place some doubt about your competition – further separating you from the competition and positioning you to make the sale.