What do you do to stand out?
In the highly competitive world of media sales, why should someone choose you? This is something we ask clients all the time when we’re trying to learn about their business. Why should I choose your business over a competitor’s business (listen carefully and your client might write the copy when they answer)? How many of us ever put that question back on ourselves? Why would someone choose me over a competitor?
I once ran across a seller who had put his “brand” on all sorts of promotional items. Pens, mouse pads, cups, water bottles, koozies and even 2-liter bottles of soda. He would frequently buy advertising on the station he was working for to run ads that talked about how he could help their business grow. He was the type of guy that was “always on” and while some would tire of his schtick, he relentlessly pursued new customers and did a great job of using the ones he had to help him get more. He stood out and became memorable to every person he met.
One of the ways sellers can stand out amongst their competitors is simply by their tone and approach on cold calls. I’ve heard all sorts of strategies over the years from a seller who told everyone that answered the phone a joke to a seller who started every call by telling the person on the other line, “this is one of those dreaded cold calls!” Any strategy that works is a good one when it comes to cold calling, but it starts with the level of confidence and authority in your voice. Back in my days as a marginal on-air host, I realized that when I was sitting down, I had to work harder to have energy in my voice versus when I was standing. If you have the same problem, stand up when you cold call. Do whatever it takes to make yourself comfortable so that whomever answers that phone hears someone who is speaking with conviction.
Another great skill to make sure you’re always working on is being able to command the room when you present an idea or solution to a client. Being able to stand up in front of a decision maker and make them believe they should invest in you and your products because it will help solve a problem they’re having is something not many people are truly great at. Those that are have a significant advantage over a competitor who comes in to the same room and “throws up all over the desk” with a robotic proposal talking about their great ratings with 18 to 49-year-old women who are left-handed and like to go bowling. Have you ever watched yourself present? I can tell you from experience you will find things you’ll want to get much better at if you ever get the chance to film a pitch and watch it back.
The bottom line is, we have to find ways to stand out. Some of our prospects are hearing from multiple salespeople a day, so why in the world are they going to pick you?