A Sales Lesson From High Gas Prices

in Opening Statements, Unique Value Proposition

So who isn’t moaning about the price of gas right now?

Probably the heads of countries that sell us oil… that’s another story.

I do have to give credit to Phillips 66 though. They ran an ad campaign a few years ago that STILL sticks in my mind. They took a commodity–gas–and figured out a way to differentiate their gas from everyone else.

In radio commercials they promoted Phillips 66 gas as “hard working,” implying, I guess, that you actually get more miles per gallon, meaning more for your money.

Now, I’m not sure if I totally believe that, but I do give them credit for trying. If I’m looking to fill up and I see two stations across the street from each other, of course I’m going to pull into the Phillips 66

So, what makes YOU different?

What sets you and your company apart?

What are the advantages you have over your competition?

Let’s face it, lots of companies sell exactly the same thing. Yet, some thrive while others struggle or go out of business. What’s the difference?

What are the advantages you have over your competition?

Let’s face it, lots of companies sell exactly the same thing.

Yet, some thrive while others struggle or go out of business.

What’s the difference?


The Big Three

Most companies can excel in one or two of The Big Three:

1. Price

2. Product/Service Quality/Functionality

3. Service

On another radio commercial I heard a great differential advantage:

“At One-Hour Heating and Air, if we’re not on time, you don’t pay a dime.”

There’s a local computer company that runs a great ad differentiating itself from the big-box electronics retailers by making fun of how technical and impersonal the big boys are with customers. Their ads end with this differentiating line,

“Bottom line, we will be cheaper, faster, and more polite than the computer chain stores.”

Here are some differentiators and slogans that might be etched in your memory, even some from quite a few years ago. See if you can instantly recall them”

“Takes a licking and keeps on ______”

“Melts in your _____, not in your hands.”

“Breakfast of _____”

“The happiest place ____ _____”

“Tastes great, _____ _______”

“When it absolutely, positively has to _____ ______ ______”

(See the answers and companies here)

Successful companies do an excellent job of spreading their message, through advertising, marketing, PR, and sales. That, of course, is the one aspect you control.

Too many sales reps think that dialing the phone and reaching a person is actually selling. No, that’s activity.

For example, “Hi Ms. Prospect. I’m Joe Seller with Contractor’s Supply. We sell drywall supplies, and I’d like to talk to you about what we have and what you use.”

Yawn. Worse, it incites resistance.

How about this:

“Hi Ms. Prospect, I’m Joe Seller with Contractor’s Supply. In talking with Jean in your office, I understand that your installers now spend quite a bit of time leaving jobs running to your supplier to pick up materials when they need something. What sets us apart is that we have trucks out that offer delivery within an hour when contractors need something. I’d like to ask a few questions to see if what we offer might be of value to you.”

Of course, the better opening is dependent on the sales rep gathering some information before speaking with the decision maker. Which, by the way, should always happen on prospecting calls. That’s Smart Calling.

Exercise
Here’s an exercise right now for you. Brainstorm and simply fill in the blanks:

“What sets us apart is ________.”

“What makes us different is _______.”

“Something that you’ll get with us, that no one else offers is ______.”

I’d bet you could use these, or a variation of these in your own calls.

Set yourself apart, and you’ll see more sales!

How do you set yourself apart from everyone else right now. Comment here and let us know. 

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