Alice Heiman book review: I’m different! Pick me! Use differentiation to grow your business | nnbusinessview.com

Alice Heiman book review: I’m different! Pick me! Use differentiation to grow your business

Alice Heiman
Special to the NNBV

RENO, Nev. — I'm planning for 2019, as I'm sure many of my fellow business owners are, and as I do, I am deciding how to differentiate myself from all of my competitors to win the business that I want. While I make my list of prospects I'd like to land for 2019, I'm compelled to think about how I'll get them to notice me. I'm working with my clients on the same concept.

As a business owner or entrepreneur, your focus should be on how to make your company stand out and get your ideal customers to choose your solution. If you're like me, and most business owners I know, you could use a few new ideas in this regard. Luckily, my friend Lee B. Salz wrote "Sales Differentiation: 19 Powerful Strategies to Win More Deals at the Prices You Want," and it's filled with ideas you can use immediately.

Your first question might be what the distinction is between sales differentiation and marketing differentiation. According to Salz, sales differentiation involves "two-directional communication with an individual, prospective buyer," while marketing differentiation "offers one-directional communication." In two-directional communication, a buyer gives the salesperson the necessary information for a sales differentiation strategy.

And that is what the book is about—setting a sales differentiation strategy for each buyer. Not for each company, for each buyer. Differentiation is individual. The way your solution will affect each buyer is different, and buyers are looking for what matters to them. Buyers only care about what they care about, and it's your job to figure that out and use the differentiators that matter.

In the book, Salz makes two great points, "First, not all differentiators will matter to everyone. Second, differentiators will need to be positioned with buyers, not just tossed out as trite expressions."

When you fail to differentiate, deals stall, you have weak pipelines and may have to resort to lowering the price to close the deal.

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To prevent all that, Salz suggests building differentiation universe. There are six components to use when building your universe:

1. The Company

2. The People

3. The Products

4. Service

5. Technology

6. Contract

This is a great exercise and Salz gives examples in the book. It is not enough to know your differentiators. You have to understand how to use them.

I couldn't agree more with Salz' final point in the book, "The irrefutable differentiator is you. Make it invaluable."

You can be viewed as a single-minded business owner, or you can be viewed as a valuable resource. Being viewed as a resource is what differentiates your company and attracts and converts your ideal customers.

Based in Reno, Alice Heiman is an internationally renowned sales expert who transforms business owners into sales leaders. Her clients rapidly and profitably increase sales by about 30 percent after working with her. You can find her at aliceheiman.com.

About the book

The book: “Sales Differentiation: 19 Powerful Strategies to Win More Deals at the Prices You Want”

The author: Lee B. Salz

The details: c. 2018, HarperCollins, 208 pages, $24.99

Buy online: amzn.to/2IxFsKY