How To Position Yourself Against the Competition (Part 2)
3. "Umbrella versus specialist." Here’s a very common scenario. Either your company provides services over a wide range, so you’re able to pitch the idea of one-stop shopping. Basically, you say, "You come to us and we take care of everything, soup to nuts. We handle everything and you get one bill." In this model, everything falls under one umbrella. There’s only one team for the customer to work with, there's one point of contact, and obviously, there are some advantages in efficiency and simplicity. And while all of that’s true, there’s also a specialist argument that you need to understand.
If you’re an umbrella company, you’re basically saying, "Listen, the reason that we’re great for companies like you is that you’ve got lots of different needs. We have an array of capabilities, and we can service you from any number of departments and divisions. We could cover all of your needs, soup to nuts."
From a smaller company that only does one of those things, though. This is something they might say: "Well see, the big companies, they will claim to provide service, soup to nuts ... but the reality is that they can’t possibly have a best-in-class specialist working in every single division of their company. We don’t try to be all things to all people. We try to be really great in this one thing. We’re built around doing that one thing really well. So if doing this one thing really well is important to you, then you want to go with a company like us. We can work directly with you, or we can partner with another provider, whichever you prefer. But we specialize in such-and-such an area, and they [the big companies] don't."
So if you’re an umbrella company, you’re spinning “the one” argument, but if you’re a specialist, you’ve got to approach it from another angle and explain the advantages of the unique specialty that you have. That means you have to know what that specialty is and you have to be ready to talk about it!
4. Migration strategy. Here’s a case where you’re in a kind of a horse race with your competitors. Depending on the week you ask, they may tell the customer they’ve got a slightly more advanced product than you. Next week, you’ve got a slightly more advanced product than them. So when you’re talking to a customer at any given moment, a competitor might have already reached out to him or her, showing its ever-so-slightly better version of something. So how do you deal with that?
Well, one way to deal with that is to say, "Mr. Prospect, we’ve been in this business for ten ye
ars, 120 years, four thousand years, whatever number of years, and over time, our mission has always been to be the number one company. And so if you work with us, what you’re working with is a company that's committed to a migration strategy. We are all about progress, about migration, about moving on. What that means is our strategy is always about advancing the goalpost of quality of service that we render. Therefore, if you work with us, as we advance and we bring our clients to a new standard, a new platform, a new level of excellence, you’re always consistently working with a company, that is at the top."
"Now, is that to say that there isn’t a company that occasionally, for five minutes, tries to beat us and has something that works a little faster, a little better, a little cleaner, a little cheaper? Maybe for a moment. But when you stay with us over time, you will consistently have the most proven, tested, best-in-class service, because we always learn from anybody that slightly gets ahead of us for a moment, and then we set the bar a little higher."
"So our goal is to constantly change, advance, and improve, and the evidence for our success with that is pretty clear. If you look at where our product set is now, versus where it was a year ago, you see tremendous growth. And I can go back ten years, fifty years, five thousand years, whatever, and show you other companies that, once they develop something, they’re kind of stuck with that. So our company is not about where we are stuck and how we can maintain the status quo. It’s about where we’re going to be tomorrow."
About the Author:
Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world. DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win. DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.
About Molly D Protosow
Molly Protosow is the COO and Training Strategist for DMTraining. She manages the day-to-day business and training operations while helping research and develop new training programs as well as refreshing signature programs to reflect the newest sales trends, technology, and best practices. Molly utilizes her wide-range of skills to create sales and marketing assets focused on delivering value to DMT’s clients. Molly has a passion for learning and leveraging new knowledge and experiences. Outside of DMTraining, Molly is a hard core Pittsburgh sports fan, enjoys staying active by running and golfing, and unwinds by reading and playing the piano.