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Advantages Magazine October 2015 : Page 5

5 TIPS FOR DIFFERENTIATING YOURSELF Put these tips into action and you’ll stand out from competitors – and win more sales. This approach entails asking questions that enable you to comprehend a prospect’s pain points and what issues they have experienced when previously purchas-ing ad specialties. You can then respond with specifc reasons and examples about why the service you ofer will make those headaches a thing of the past. With all this done, you can start developing promo-tions that are specially crafted to generate the most ROI for clients.  Nurture Relationships: Stay in touch with key clients, colleagues and valuable business contacts even when a sale is not immediately in the cards. Giving them referrals, treating them to lunches, sending hand-written thank-you notes and birthday cards, shooting over emails with a link to a video or article they’ll fnd interesting – all this outreach helps build a personal bond with people who buy from you directly, who can refer you to prospects or who can put you in positions where you’ll have the opportunity to connect with new buyers. Creating human connections with clients and infuencers increases the likelihood that when the talk turns to branded merchandise, they’ll think of you as the go-to pro.  Build Your Reputation Online: Buyers are going to research you on the Internet. Sales reps that have a strong online presence that establishes them as consul-tative experts will project creditability that provides an advantage over competitors who do not. Start by having an excellent LinkedIn profle that includes recommenda-tions, endorsements, multi-media and details about your professional accomplishments. Furthermore, maintain an active presence and build followings on other social platforms like Facebook and Twitter; share content that is relevant to prospects and clients. Also, have a strong website that includes testimonials, case studies, a per-sonalized “about” page that details why you’re motivated to do what you do and a regularly updated blog. STEP 2  Know What Sets You Apart: Ofer clients value they can’t easily fnd elsewhere. To make certain you understand and can communicate this value, write down the characteristics and services you provide that make you distinctive. Perhaps you have a knack for conceiving outside-the-box solutions. Maybe you’re a proactive planner and organizer who is superb at helping clients stay ahead of their marketing calendar. Perhaps your company has partnerships with suppliers and shippers that allow you to ofer high-quality product and fast delivery at prices competitors can’t match. Whatever your distinguishers are, know them. Addition-ally, consider what attributes you can develop to further distinguish yourself. These attributes should be based on what you know to be the most important things buyers look for in a promo partner.  Do Up-Front Research: The more you know about a buyer, the better chance you have of orchestrating suc-cessful meetings and interactions. Even so, many sales pros neglect to perform adequate research on prospects beforehand. “Doing your homework before sitting down with a client shows that you care about their business and have already invested your time in the potential rela-tionship,” says Andrea Berkman-Donlon, founder of The Constant Professional, a brand development agency.  Make The Client’s Success Your Goal: When you exe-cute a sound strategy aimed at making clients success-ful, sales start to take care of themselves. This approach begins with asking quality, open-ended questions that allow you to develop a full understanding of your cli-ent’s brand, goals, target audience and more. During the discussion, you can concisely share information and examples about your distinguishing factors – the things you bring to the table that put you in an optimal positon to provide buyers with branded solutions that will ben-eft their company. WATCH THIS: WATCH this video where sales guru Victor Antonio gives tips on how salespeople can diferentiate them-selves. VtDqoG READ THIS: Diferentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition by Jack Trout & Steve Rivkin  ACTION ITEMS ❑ Analyze and come to understand the unique value you can ofer clients. ❑ Take steps to better nurture important busi-ness relationships. SALES BOOST ADVANTAGES • OCTOBER 2015 5

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