Capabilities vs Differences make a big sales difference

Your CAPABILITIES are killing your sales and profit margin

Let’s talk about your sales and profit margins.

How effective do you think your Sales and/or Marketing messages are? Are they compelling and converting leads in to opportunities and opportunities into customers with strong and healthy margins?

At what rate? And at what cost to acquire a new customer? (If you don’t know your conversion rates or acquisition costs, let’s talk about that later . . . no, seriously, contact us because you need to know these numbers intimately).

Most small businesses struggle with this compel and convert piece because of making this same mistake: Talking about “Capabilities” instead of “Differences” is killing your sales and profit margin.

We’re conditioned to promote and talk to customers about our capabilities – ALL the things we offer, all the things we can do: Let’s not miss identifying a single, potential capability, casting a wide net to not miss scooping up as many customers as possible. If your competitor offers it, you must too so that you don’t lose those customers.

However, if you step back and look at this strategy, what happens with this “Broad and Wide Net” approach of blasting all your capabilities is that you divert customers’ focus away from your “competencies” and your “differences”.

With generic and vague messages that align more with your COMPETITORS than aligning with your customers’ decision making process, you blend into the rest of your potential customers’ choices. They will line you up side by side with your competitors and check the boxes comparing you to each other. If there are no overwhelmingly clear differences, then you fall into the dreaded “Commodity” trap. No differences = no unique value.

Stop and think about how we make buying decisions. We make decisions by examining the DIFFERENCES. All the “same” factors get crossed off. We choose the differences that meet our needs, suit our fancy, and light our fire.

The duller your messages, the more vague your offerings, the harder it is for your customers to make decisions.

The sharper your communication, the more specific your offerings, the CLEARER your differences – the easier and faster it is for your customers to CHOOSE you.

Shake off the notion that the broader your messages, the more customers you’ll scoop up. It’s not working for you. Just like it’s not working for your competitors (hint – here’s your opportunity to make SELLING your competitive advantage).

Weak and nonspecific communication in your social media, on your websites, on your blog and in your sales presentations – UNDERMINES your unique market position and contributes to lower margins when you’re perceived as a commodity.

Bottom line – talk about your Competencies, not your Capabilities. Clearly and quickly demonstrate to your customers exactly HOW and WHY you are different so you make it as easy as possible for your customers to make their buying decisions. You earn trust quicker, they buy your uniqueness and value, and you maintain margin by not being forced into the commodity corner.

Until next time, stop hoping, start SELLING – your differences.


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Straightforward, practical and perhaps slightly cheeky, Shawn Karol Sandy's innate gift is helping people find new ways to solve old problems, unique ways to approach new problems and helping businesses re-invent themselves and their sales strategies. With Bold and Brave thought leadership and Clear Action Plans, her impact on business is Measurable and Meaningful and will lead your sales revolution to growth and revenue goals.

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