Episode 47 – Competitive Differentiation Revealed With Roger Burnett

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Are you actually differentiating yourself from your competitors?

Many business owners believe that they are, but may not be truly identifying – or marketing – what makes them unique. Especially in our hyper-connected world, this is a critical step for success. In today’s episode of CEO Sales Strategies, Doug C. Brown talks with Roger Burnett, CEO of Social Good Promotions. Doug and Roger discuss competitive differentiation, building trust and rapport with your clients, and much more.

 

In this episode, you will learn:

Episode’s guest – Roger Burnett

CSS 47 | Competitive Differentiation

Roger Burnett is the founder of Social Good Promotions, a social enterprise built to teach and deliver purpose-based marketing strategies to businesses of all sizes. A long-time volunteer leader, Roger is widely recognized as a volunteer organization thought leader, guiding non-profit organization leadership through transformative periods of growth. As co-founder of PromoCares and PromoKitchen, host of the popular So, You’re in Sales? podcast, and co-author of the book Red Goldfish; Promo Edition, Roger offers a unique perspective on the many values of organizational alignment and the ways purpose capably serves as the 5th P of Marketing.

Visit his website: www.socialgoodpromotions.com

Competitive Differentiation: Why Your Customer Need You With Roger Burnett

We have Mr. Roger Burnett coming on with us from Social Good Promotions. We are going to talk a lot about competitive differentiation. We are going to talk about it. It’s not even a need anymore. It’s a must. Pay attention to this. Pay attention to that part. Pay attention to the part about being congruent. We are talking about the continuum now about rapport like know, like, and trust.

All those good factors are playing far more into the sales process and how you’ve got to use these in your marketing side before you even get there. It’s a cool interview. I believe you will get so much out of this. Get a pen, paper, digital pad or whatever it is that you do. Take good notes. Without further ado, let’s go talk to Roger.

Roger, welcome to the show. I’m grateful to have you here.

I’m grateful to be here. It’s exciting. Let’s go. Let’s do this. Let’s talk to the people.

For those of you reading, Roger and I combined, we had traveled about 9,300 miles. I added it up, a little jet lag, road lag, whatever. Here we go. Your company is called Social Good Promotions. I want to get into that in a minute but the reality is we have something that we need to talk about, which is competitive differentiation, which a lot of companies, I don’t even know if they know what the real crux of that is.

It’s one of those things that people go, “I got to be competitively differentiated,” but then when I look at it from afar into their companies, and I’m sure you might have that same situation happened, they are not competitively differentiated at all. They are a little different but not competitively differentiated. Can we delve into that? What would you call competitive differentiation?

Those words, when put together in a sentence, it’s this notion of people buying from people they know, like, and trust. Everyone is like, “That’s a universal truth.” Competitive differentiation is what people choose when they are choosing. What it boils down to is there’s only one low-cost provider in whatever is being sold that you are selling. For most of us, being a low-cost provider is not what we are choosing.

We need to be able to justify the Delta between our price and the low-cost provider’s price. If you don’t have a set of things that you can communicate to your prospect that would be the justification for the Delta, then you don’t have competitive differentiation. For many people, when you ask them like, “What makes you stand out?”

They are going to say, “My service delivery. I take better care of people.” No, you don’t. If it’s not those things, then what is it? What I believe has become true in this economy, more so than in previous economies, are people want to know. What is it about you that if I give you my money, I’m going to feel good about making that choice? That’s competitive differentiation in a nutshell.

There are three points I love to bring up on this because this is important. When you are saying lowest cost, firstly, anybody I have found can sell their selves out of business. Do we want to be the lowest cost? No. When we are competing on cost, we are now a commodity. I’m coming back to this one. The second one is when they say, “I take care of people, better than other people. I take care of this and that.” Isn’t that what you are supposed to do anyways? One of the big things that’s a challenge for most companies is when you ask the question, “What is your competitive differentiation?” They give you what they do but not what is the outcome for the client.

What is the benefit of being the lowest cost and top provider of service? What is the outcome for the client? For the client, they have higher profitability or something. A lot of times when I’m talking with people about competitive differentiation, and this is a topic that we both love, one of those things that I hear all the time is what they do versus what they produce for the client. Is that a key in being competitively differentiated from your view to state what you are doing and the terms of what’s the benefit, the outcome for the client or is it something that can be more mechanical internally?

Most people buy the why not the what. If you can't communicate the why, then the what doesn't matter. Click To Tweet

Either or both are true. It’s knowing what it is that you are to say when you get asked the question that is where most people struggle. We spend a ton of time networking and trying to meet new people, and invariably the question becomes like, “What do you do?” People will jump right to the what and not the why. For most of us, what we are buying is the why, not the what.

If you can’t reliably communicate the why, the what doesn’t matter. In that dance that we do, you asked me what it is that we do and I say, “We make the world a better place.” People are like, “What does that mean?” I can get into what that is. These things, “I can never do this. It’s over there. There you go.”

I do three things but the reason people choose me is not for these three things. It’s for what our business does when people make a choice to do that with us. The further you are away from the Genesis of your why, the harder it is for people to figure out whether or not they would want to choose you. If you, as the founder or leader, can’t reliably communicate that, then what’s the likelihood that your sales team is going to be able to carry that to market and even worse?

What you want is for each of your people on your team to be able to personally identify themselves with the why so that when they are standing in front of that person, they can say, “This is what we do. Here’s why we do it and why it’s important to me.” I have spent a lot of time in front of and with people that are supposed to be able to do that and they can’t. It’s such a problem. It manifests itself in things like, “It’s time to do the deal now, why am I fighting with my client about the cost?” Good job of connecting it sooner to make them feel they are going to be happy with making this purchase because you are the right choice for them.

I’m looking at you, next to you is your logo is amazing and your products, “Marketing and sales strategy. Events that generate leads, etc.” If somebody doesn’t have the why and they can’t communicate that why, then they are going to come to a company that is a competitor of yours or even yours, and they are going to go, “I want a logo. How much is the logo?” “It’s X.” “I can get it out on Fiverr for $3, $5 or $10.”

The real question then becomes, “Why do you want that logo? That’s what I hear from you.” You and I are both educators. I’m going an education mode here because people who are reading, read this show because they want to learn. Why is an important question then? Do you also think or believe that after you ask them why you get to be a two-year-old and ask him why again?

To me, it’s that 2nd and 3rd question that is where the decision gets made to choose you or not. If we run into one another, you are going to do some research. You are going to go out and do what you do. You are going to go to LinkedIn. You are going to go to the web. However you investigate, you are going to do your investigation. If I haven’t been able to communicate via those channels elegantly, the same thing that you heard from me in person, that’s problem one.

Problem two is if I can’t figure out what it is about you that when I spend this extra money, when someone challenges me on why I did that, I have to have a defense. It’s because everyone’s job is to get whatever it is that they are getting at the lowest cost they possibly can get or have a justification for why they didn’t make that choice.

If you are not giving them that chance, then you run the risk of losing out on potential sales. The third why. If you got the first why, good for you. Congratulations. You are better than most. If you have the second why, you are in the 10%. If you have the third one, you are 1%. There are very few organizations out there that have that dialed into that degree, and when you run across a brand that has it, you can feel it almost immediately. It’s in the energy of the people. It’s in the way that they behave. It’s in the service delivery that they create for you because it’s not something that they have to say, “This is what makes us special.” It’s who we are and what we do. When it’s there, it’s palpable, and when it’s not, it’s palpable.

CSS 47 | Competitive Differentiation
Competitive Differentiation: Competitive differentiation is what makes you what people choose when they’re choosing.

 

All of you are reading, we are with Mr. Roger Burnett from Social Good Promotions. This is good stuff. We do this at the end of the episode but I can imagine there are people going, “I want to talk to this guy.” How do they get ahold of you?

I’m the email guy, Roger@SocialGoodPromotions.com. It’s the fastest and easiest way to get ahold of us. There’s a way to book an appointment with us online at SocialGoodPromotions.com. We are on most of the social media channels that all of us are on except for TikTok. We have an account. I don’t use it but we are eminently find-able. The email is going to be probably the fastest way to make that happen.

All you Gen Y, Z, X to Millennials, even some of the Millennials, it’s funny because you and I are that similar age. My daughters are 21 and 23, and they always say, “Dad, I always know if the person is over 40 or under 40 because if they are over 40, I get a phone call.” While we are educating those of you who are younger than 40-ish, remember that the traditionalist and the Baby Boomers still like to use communication tools that are not just messaging. If you are not using those, you are going to lose money on sales if you want to go to that demographic. There are still people, I don’t know if you run into them but I do, who still only do business on the golf course or the tennis court, that type of thing.

We are who we are. A lot of times in my discovery process, one of the things that I will ask a prospect is, “How do you like to be communicated with so that I know.” You probably have this happen too, like I will have a message from someone and I will think to myself, “Where were we having that conversation? Was it on Facebook Messenger? Was it a text? I’ve got to find a record of what we were talking about because I don’t remember what we said.”

Very often, I do that. I don’t know if this is a generational thing for us but if I talked to somebody a month ago, if I didn’t put it into the notes, I’m dead in the water. I hate to say I’m getting older but I have started to feel it a little bit more. If we don’t ask those whys, you are not going to know. I agree with that. I also think their messaging is going to be askew at that point.

From training a lot in the sales and helping people hire or manage A player teams, I find messaging is off all the time because they haven’t asked those three whys. When somebody comes and says, “I want training from my sales team or something like that.” The first question I ask them is, “Why?” It’s because they will inevitably say something like, “I want to increase my sales.” You don’t want training. You want to increase your sales.

“Why do you want to increase your sales?” “I need better margins.” “Why don’t you have better margins stay? Could it be X or Y?” We start digging into that, and what we find out is training is not the problem. Their sales process is the problem. Leadership might be the problem. I had a sales manager one time, and he was supposed to be training the people multiple times a week but didn’t show up for two months. That’s a problem. Are you finding messaging is off on people when they are trying to build that brand, be that brand, build the marketing side of their business, and don’t understand competitive differentiation on their own?

The adage that every universal truth, people buy from people they know, like, and trust. I don’t think there’s anyone reading this that said, “I don’t believe that to be true.” It’s the universal truth but the problem with it is, you don’t know what it means. They haven’t broken it down into a set of activities for their sales team to accomplish, to help them move from know, like to trust.

A lot of people think it’s a straight line. I believe it’s a pyramid and that you have to climb the steps on the pyramid from know to like to trust, and what most people don’t recognize and appreciate is it’s not a straight climb. You could start making your way up and realize, “This isn’t going to get me where I need to go. Do I go this way? Do I go that way? Do I have to go back down to choose a new path to get to this place?” You had sales calls made on you during the pandemic.

The first thing you need to do in every interaction is to recognize where you are in your relationship with them. Click To Tweet

You had prospecting calls made, “Doug, I’m Roger from Social Good Promotions. Do you want to buy a T-shirt?” People got testy during the pandemic when it came to general sales activity because they were doing their job, and ultimately, for the person who’s trying to make the sale, the result is a transaction. When in reality, our job as salespeople is to build relationships.

As sales management does a poor job of having their salespeople recognize and appreciate what activities are necessary in the times when you are at differing levels of know, like, and trust with your prospects, it feels like a transaction to the person on the other end of it. If you did a better job of recognizing and appreciating that, the first thing that we need to do in every interaction that we have with a client or a prospect is to recognize where are we in that continuum at this moment? Is it weak, mild or strong? Are you my family kind of people?

During the pandemic, generally speaking, the only purchases that got made were with people who you consider family because everything else was so risky that you would not want to like, “I’m not going to take a risk now because it’s a risky time.” Only with those people that I have the highest amount of trust will I even consider doing something with. What many of us recognized and appreciated during the pandemic was we hadn’t built strong trust-based relationships with as many people as we needed to in order to sustain our businesses during things like a pandemic.

Doing activities that help train your team to recognize where you are and what you should be doing to help move up that continuum, to me, is paramount. If we could do a better job of helping first-line sales management recognize and appreciate that skill development that you need to be working on with your team, it would help close ratios in ways that people don’t recognize now. I don’t know if you know this. Do you know what a universally held close ratio is? Everyone agrees there’s a certain number of closes that you will get out of 10%, regardless of what you sell. Do you know what the number is?

I will tell you what people tell me all the time, 20%.

20% to 25%. Guess why that is.

It’s because somebody made it up.

When you do all of the personality tests that we have all been taught DISC, StrengthsFinder or whatever, generally speaking, there are four outcomes.

It’s 1 in 4, 25%.

CSS 47 | Competitive Differentiation
Competitive Differentiation: If you got the first why, you’re better than most. If you have the second why, you’re in the 10%. If you have a third one, you’re in the 1%.

 

What ends up happening is the people who they are like, “Roger is like me. I’m comfortable with him. I’m going to choose him.” There’s your close ratio. That’s why. If you have not done the work to build those trust relationships with the people who they don’t feel comfortable with you, then that’s why they don’t ultimately choose you because you are not like them. You’ve not given them any other reason to make that choice.

The second piece of this that I have historically seen happen is the majority of sales in any commodity-based industry happen at the end of the quarter and the end of the year. That’s because we have trained people to wait until like, “I know Roger is going to come up with a deal for me because it’s getting to be close to the end of the quarter.” By doing these trust-based activities, you knocked down some of those walls and improved your close ratios as a result.

There is so much to unpack there. I’m going to do my best. Firstly, know, like, and trust. I agree 100%, building rapport. You never know where you are in the cycle. For those of you who are selling larger and more complex sales, I would say it’s not even a necessity anymore. It is a must. A lot of the people I speak with on the ownership level, the CEO level on larger and more complex sales, if I ask them this question, “How do you want to be sold to?” They go, “I don’t want to be sold to. I want to buy.” We all want to buy from that person we know, like, and trust.

Number two, since you never know where you are completely on that continuum, and it is a stair-step process. I would agree with you. When selling, if they want to go to the close, don’t try to run through the whole process. I have seen people do this over and over. It blows my mind. It’s like, “They told you three times, give them the paper, electronic paper or a real paper.”

You keep going back to, “Let’s talk about the fish on the wall.” It’s like, “No. They are beyond that.” There is so much to unpack there. Building strong relationships is a foundation. I agree with you with the pandemic has been a shift. In fact, on commoditization, like you said, people wait until the end of the quarter, the end of the month.

I’m doing that right now with two vehicles. I’ve got two lease vehicles coming up. I’m buying. I will go in there on the 30th or the 31st of the month because I know the same thing you said. Why wouldn’t we do that? This is a crazy story. I have a dealership where I bought a vehicle years ago, and I told the sales guy, “I like you a lot. Stay in touch with me.” The man has never stayed in touch with me. I like the dealership so much that I call them back. “I’m buying another vehicle. It has been two years since I bought these other vehicles. Stay in touch with me.” No, stay in touch with me.

I called them because I’m ready to go. They said, “I will send you out this information on an email that you are looking for,” and they never did, and they never followed up and called me. What happens there? That know, like, and trust now starts becoming, “I don’t like and trust you as much, and I certainly don’t respect you as much.” Now they are no longer in that supercharged, amazing relationship, which if they call me up with pricing and said, “This is what it is,” I would be up there signing two cars.

With the pandemic that’s happened, and I agree with you and all of you reading, I’m leaning in here because sales have shifted. It’s changed. If you don’t build this know, like, and trust, as Roger is saying, then what happens is you become a commodity. Who do you go to in a commodity? The most convenient or the most price available purchase. On most items now, I don’t know if you are doing this, but when I need something, I don’t even go shop for it anymore. I used to buy it like office supplies from Staples, Office Depot, and OfficeMax.

I buy from Amazon now because I might order it now, and it will arrive by 4:00 in the afternoon. That ream of paper or that box of whatever, it’s the same in all locations. When I go to Office Depot or Staples, sometimes it’s like, “I’ve got to fight traffic.” I then get an attitude from the people that are working there because they don’t want to be working there anyway. I commoditize it all and buy it from Amazon. Now Amazon has become what it wanted to become anyways, a world dominator. Am I unlike a lot of people or a lot of people, in your opinion, doing the same type of thing?

In sales, if you can't give someone the need to choose you, then you're going to get beat by somebody who did. Click To Tweet

What you are talking about is friction. Friction in the transaction, if you are not the low-cost provider and create a lot of friction in the transaction, the likelihood of people saying, “I want to pay you extra and make you make my life miserable,” is pretty unlikely. You can buy branded pens on the internet. You don’t need me. I know that.

I also know that every owner has a closet with some stuff that they bought that didn’t work. Not effective, and it was because you and your own creativity are not as creative as we are with the same product. We and our expertise are what would be the reason you would choose the friction because there’s an easier way to do it. There’s a less expensive way to do it but the consequence of that choice is what ends up in the closet.

Our whole job literally, if you watch any of my social media, what you will see is, we are saying we don’t want you to buy things that are going to end up in the garbage because that’s bad for the planet. It’s bad for you. You shouldn’t do that. It’s not a good idea. Come to us so that we can devise a strategy that when you go and use the product, it will be effective, and that means that the product gets in the hands of the people that you want it to be in their hands.

It has a narrative attached to it that makes it something that person would want to hold onto because now you’ve given them a piece of your brand for them to carry around and be reminded of you. If you’ve done that in a thoughtful and creative way, it immediately sets you apart from the other competitors in what you do. In a way, when that person comes to making the purchase decision, maybe they are like, “I do need some pens. I could buy those online but let me call Roger because he made me feel that doing that would be better than going and doing the easier thing.”

Isn’t that what we are trying to accomplish regardless of what it is you are selling? When that moment happens, when the purchase decision is going to get made, that’s when you want the person thinking about you. If you haven’t done the work up until that point to be on the top of their mind when they are making that purchase decision, then you have put your salesforce at a disadvantage.

Let’s go back to made-up stats again, 1 out of 4. I have got to say my personal opinion is those type of assessments for sales, in general, are not that predictable. Their personality assessments, when they come down it, don’t tell you if the person can sell. That’s a pet peeve of mine that people use those types of assessments and go, “I did StrengthsFinder, Myers-Briggs, I’m an X, Y, Z, A.” Not that I’m using the appropriate terminology but I don’t want them to sue me.

The reality is that having this top-of-mind awareness is what a lot of people miss out on in sales. I’m a big proponent of follow-up. Why? It’s doing the same thing or a very similar thing differently. It’s keeping top-of-mind awareness. That person, like a car dealer, if they had followed it up with me six times, put me on a creative something and said, “How are you doing?” They then would have got 2 additional sales, maybe 3 because my wife is looking for something new too.

The reality is that having a promotional piece that’s sitting on someone’s desk that has your information branded on that is a good thing. It was Marketo or HubSpot, somebody did online leads, and they were saying that only about 20% of the leads that come in will close in the first 30 days. I believe the number was 66% and will close over a year if you stay in touch.

That pen, if you are talking about it and this happened to us. We’ve got a nice check-in and we are like, “We’ve got to put it in the bank.” We are trying to switch from one bank to another bank. I’m like, “I will put it in this other bank and start showing good faith to the bank.” My wife goes, “I love these pens from the bank we are in.” She pulls one out of her pocketbook and she goes, “This one right here. I love this pen. Let’s put it there so I can get some more pens.”

CSS 47 | Competitive Differentiation
Competitive Differentiation: If you’re not investing the time and energy to align yourself with your company, then you’re running a giant risk. Make people know your message and how it resonates with the marketplace.

 

I know what’s going on. They have done exactly what you said to do, and that transition now has resulted in them getting the sizable check put into their bank account versus the other company. That’s human nature for us to do this because we want to go with the familiarity the know, like, and trust. She likes the pens. She trusts the pens. It’s reliable. It writes every single time.

Maybe she respects the pen. I don’t know. I will have to ask her that question but the reality is everything you are saying is spot on. If you could leave the audience with one more nugget of gold, if you will, I’m putting you on the spot but I know you can handle it, what would you leave them? Outside competitive differentiation, outside of the continuous top of mind awareness, what would be one more thing that they should be thinking about?

We are a two-person operation. I’m doing multiple jobs. I’m the sales leader. I run the marketing for the organization. I’m responsible for our philanthropic relationships, so much that goes into what makes our brand what it is, doesn’t happen unless the two of us are dedicated to making sure that the narrative that we have created around our brand is something that can survive the investigation.

The way that the investigation survival technique is manifested is through what you read and see about us when you go to do whatever research you would do about whatever brand that you are considering. We are going to go to our Googler. We are going to type in Roger Burnett, Social Good Promotions or whatever it is that you are trying to figure out about what you heard from me. If what you see and hear from me online is not a reflection of what you learn in this conversation, it’s going to create some dissonance for you.

You would be like, “Roger got me excited about maybe doing business with him but then I went out online, and nothing about what I saw there was a reflection of what I learned.” I’m less likely because like, “Is he a snake oil guy? Is this not legit? Why is that happening?” We started the company in 2019 but if you look at what I had been writing about, the foundational principles of our business can be found in what I wrote online, dating all the way back to 2014. I have been talking about all of these things in what I was talking about long before I decided to turn them into a business model. We are greatly aligned when it comes to what you see, hear, and find of us when you investigate.

If you are not investing the time, energy, and effort to make that the case, then you are running a giant risk, especially in this cancel culture environment where people are itching for a chance to prove to the world what you said is full of shit. If you don’t have dedicated activity built into what you do around making your message resonate in the marketplace, then you are missing out.

It’s important for you to do, especially because you could unsell yourself to someone easily when you don’t do that activity. Secondarily, let’s assume we are at the decisive moment. That person is ready to make a buying decision, and there are 1, 2 or 3 competitors that they are choosing between. There’s usually going to be that last moment of review where they are going to go back out one more time and say, “I’ve got to decide.” It’s going to be in that last review that they are going to make their decision.

If you don’t have what needs to be there to make them choose you at that moment, you are going to get beat by somebody who did probably. There’s a piece that I wrote years ago on the blog that talks about the difference between being persuasive and being compelling. What I would tell you is persuasion has largely been the strategy for most salespeople throughout history and persuasion cost you margin.

It’s the same thing we are talking about with you in the cars. You know you are going to wait because you know that is going to need your sale at that moment, and they are going to make a concession to help get you across the finish line in the timeframe that they have created for themselves because it’s not your timeline. It’s theirs. Being compelling is like, “If I go to my doctor for a checkup and he says, ‘I see something weird. I need to send you to a specialist.’”

As a salesperson, people have already made their choice by the time they've gotten to you. Your job is to steward them the rest of the way. Click To Tweet

The urgency around what’s going to happen has grown because I’m worried that something is not right with me. When I go to the specialist, am I saying, “Doc, how much does this going to cost me? How much of my insurance is going to cover this? I have a spot on my lung and you are a lung specialist, let’s get to get in.” That person had to make an investment too in time, energy, effort, and all of the things that go into becoming a specialist, to the point that when I seek your specialty, I’m not worried about the price. If you are not investing in being seen as the specialist, then what you are doing is you are relying on persuasion to get you to your finish line, and it’s going to cost you money.

I’m not saying being compelling isn’t expensive. It is but it’s expensive in the time you have to invest in becoming an expert and then the effort that you have to expend in communicating your expertise to the people who might want to see you as the expert when the time comes for them to make that purchase decision. Do you want to be persuasive or do you want to be compelling? I choose compelling.

It’s all of the work that I have put into the book. We wrote presentations that we give that are online for people to see to say like, “I’m a compelling choice.” When we get to the compelling choice, I’m not having a conversation with you about how expensive it is. I know that some people will be cynical salespeople and go mad but as someone who sells pens that can be bought online that you don’t need me.

The reason why people choose us is we are seen as a compelling choice. To me, the single most important thing that any business needs to do is to be seen as a compelling choice. It’s super hard to do but it is the most important activity that any business can do for its sales organization is to make you be seen as the compelling choice.

That was better than even all the other stuff we talked about when it came up. There are so many situations going through my head where it’s like, “I can tell this story about this or that.” It doesn’t matter if it’s B2C or B2B. I have seen deals unravel last moment on B2B at the table because someone brings in a piece of information, it goes, “It’s not congruent with what they are telling us.” B2C is the same thing.

The first thing that came to my mind was I was looking for a new home, and so I looked up Realtor.com or one of the sites. I’m like, “I don’t know the area, so I will take this real estate agent. She looks very qualified.” I remember her picture was very nice and appealing. The way she presented herself was like, “I saw professional homes,” that type of thing, and that’s what I was looking for. I showed up at the meeting and the picture that was there and the woman that showed up was about 25 or 30 years difference. She was about in her mid-50s but her picture was in her probably or early-30s if not 20s. I was questioning, “Is this the same person?”

She showed up in a convertible Ford Mustang versus the automobile that she was showing in her profile. Right then and there, the sale was over because firstly, if you have ever been in a convertible Mustang, they are great. Unless you have to sit in the back seat, if you want to cut your knees off and from the legs down, you can fit into these vehicles.

It wasn’t a congruent thing. I have shown up at certain hotels that are rated as 4 or 5 stars and they are dilapidated. It’s one of those things that all of a sudden, it’s like, “I’m not buying the car. I’m not staying at this hotel. I’m not doing this multimillion-dollar deal because we just found out some other information.” I agree with you too, Roger. People will look at the majority of sales decisions on large sales, especially are done before you even enter the room. It’s one of those things that if you are not congruent or if you are not in the public square like you said, by the way, where’s the blog like? You have a blog.

It’s called The Burn and I post it via my LinkedIn channel. You can pick it up there.

CSS 47 | Competitive Differentiation
Competitive Differentiation: If you’re not investing in being seen as the specialist, then you’re relying on persuasion to get you to your finish line, and it’s going to cost you money.

 

Check out The Burn, folks. You have a podcast too, because I have listened a lot to your podcast. It’s awesome. What is the podcast?

So, You’re in Sales? podcast, we are on episode 126. It delves into what it takes to be a successful salesperson in the world. It’s not like what it used to be. My sales career predates the internet. I have been at this for a long time. What you said is completely true. The role of the salesperson has moved so far down the funnel. We used to be the place where people would come for information to make a decision.

They have largely made their choice. By the time they have gotten to you and your job is to steward them the rest of the way. All of the work that we talked about being compelling is what you need to have invested in making that happen so that when they show up, they already have made up their mind, so you are in sales examining some of the mechanics. I’m trying to do that well.

I’m going to thank you for being here on the show. Folks, check him out. He is the real deal. We have had numerous conversations over the past. I appreciate you being here.

It was fun. I appreciate it.

Wasn’t that cool? What do you think? Roger is a smart guy. He’s got a smaller company but it doesn’t mean a smaller company is a bad thing when you come down to it. When you have smaller companies, then smaller companies will tend to pay attention to you far more than if you are this big, huge conglomerate of companies that don’t have their marketing differentiation together. Doesn’t have it working through the whole process like they are trying to sell in persuasiveness versus being compelling.

The real question is, “Would you rather be the valued asset in a process that you are buying from?” In other words, they want you, need you, and will do everything they can to promote and have you as a client long-term versus you being 1 of 10,000, and if they lose you, so what? They gain 2, lose 1. They are up one. That’s how some of the companies look at it.

When it comes to marketing differentiation, it’s no longer like, “We should do this.” It’s a must. You must be out in the public square, and you must be promoting and putting yourself out there congruently because people will look you up when it comes to you selling to them. If they find incongruencies, here’s the sad part. They don’t always tell you.

It’s pointless things but they make the decision off that. They make the judgment call. For example, if you are trying to hire A-player salespeople and are not looking at Glassdoor ratings or your online reputation. These A-type players are going to look it up first and will make the decision based on whether or not that’s favorable or not.

If you like this, I ask you all the time, please go up and rate this show. Subscribe to this show and tell your friends about it because the more people we have, the more eyeballs that we get on, and the more people we help. If you need help in your own business, you want anything around growing your revenues, you want to hire top producing salespeople, get yourself to the top 1% of sales globally, reach out to me at @DougBrown123, that is the LinkedIn or Doug@CEOSalesStrategies.com. As always, if you have a topic of interest that you want us to find and source people and bring that to you, let us know what it is. We will be happy to do it. Until next time, go out, sell a lot of stuff, sell it profitably and make a ton of money and help a lot of people.

 

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About Roger Burnett

CSS 47 | Competitive DifferentiationRoger Burnett is the founder of Social Good Promotions, a social enterprise built to teach and deliver purpose-based marketing strategies to businesses of all sizes. A long-time volunteer leader, Roger is widely recognized as a volunteer organization thought leader, guiding non-profit organization leadership through transformative periods of growth. As co-founder of PromoCares and PromoKitchen, host of the popular So, You’re in Sales? podcast, and co-author of the book Red Goldfish; Promo Edition, Roger offers a unique perspective on the many values of organizational alignment and the ways purpose capably serves as the 5th P of Marketing.

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