Best Example of Value-Added vs. Commodity Selling

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Mar 07, 2013 @ 20:03 PM

Top Sales WorldI wrote an article for the March 2013 issue of Top Sales World Magazine that debriefs an actual sales call.  I've written more than 1,000 articles and I believe this one is the best yet!  The article effectively details an actual value-added consultative sales call which, because of a single incorrect question, quickly became a transactional, commodity-based, price-driven call.  The example is really striking because it so clearly shows that you can do everything correctly but asking even one question the wrong way can cause a salesperson to lose the opportunity to be a trusted advisor, and fall into the abyss of commodity sellers.  

You'll have to get this month's issue (existing subscriber link) or sign up to read it.  It's on page 7.  The bonus is that there are 12 additional articles you can read after you download the issue.  The magazine will open in a separate tab or window so that you can return here and contribute your comments.  There should be a lot to share!

[Update - For the sales management side to this story, I wrote a coaching piece for EcSELL Institute and that article is available here.  In this article you'll discover the proper way to debrief this call and make sure that something like this doesn't happen again.]

I'm hosting a fast-paced, 45-minute webinar and will share some of the findings and statistics that make Objective Management Group's Sales Candidate Assessments so magically predictive.  Please join me:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
10 AM Eastern Time
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I'll also be hosting our annual fall Sales Leadership Intensive in Boston.  It is simply the finest two days of sales leadership training for CEO's, Presidents, GM's, Sales Directors, Sales VP's and Sales Managers.  What makes it so special?  Click here for two videoclips (scroll to the bottom of the page) featuring some of the attendees from the fall 2012 Sales Leadership Intensive and hear what they have to say.   Please join me:

November 14-15, 2013
Westin Copley Hotel, Boston
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Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, Consultative Selling, sales management, Sales Coaching, commodity selling, sales candidate assessment, value added sale, value added seller, predictive sales test

Differentiating Yourself on Sales Calls

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jul 20, 2011 @ 12:07 PM

As luck would have it, today there were five nearly identical white mid-size cars parked along side each other in the parking lot.  While they looked similar, there were offerings from VW, Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet and Honda.

Your prospects would have seen five products that looked similar, were competitively priced, and that claimed nearly identical features and benefits.  So how would each of those product salespeople differentiate themselves and their offerings?

Well, differentiating wouldn't have very much to do with the cars themselves...

It all boils down to how well each salesperson, or more realistically, which one salesperson really understands why you are interested in a new car, what you liked and didn't like about prior cars, dealers, service and experiences, and what you really want your new ride to do for you.  Why wouldn't the salesperson defer to features and benefits?  They are all the same and the prospect has heard them all before.  What's wrong with a little reinforcement or pointing out how a feature is different from the competitor's feature?  Everyone is doing that.  It only serves to commoditize the product and company.  

If you want your salespeople to effectively decommoditize your offering, have them stop talking about the offering!

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, Sales Coaching, commodity selling, selling against the competition

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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