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Practice Management > Building Your Business

5 ways to eliminate the competition

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Sales is a zero-sum game: someone wins and someone else loses. The person who wins does so because he creates a preference, a bias, for his offering, which blocks out the competition.

The way you create a preference for your solution is by creating greater value. You want to drive a wedge between your customer and your competitors and create a strong bias toward your offering.

Here are the five things you need to create bias:

1. Trust

Greater trust creates a preference. Your dream client is worried about execution and risk. Trust is the timeless fundamental that alleviates the concerns that you might fail your client. It mitigates the concern that you might be self-oriented and interested only in creating the greatest benefit for you.

2. Understanding

You also create a preference through developing a deeper understanding of your dream client’s challenges. Understanding those challenges proves you care enough to learn about them and their business. It also demonstrates that you have business acumen and situational knowledge — the keys to developing the right solutions and ensuring they fit.

3. Vision

You create a bias by having ideas about what your client’s future will look like — or how it could look if she were to make the right decisions. This future-orientation positions you as more than just someone who sells a product or service. It establishes you as a trusted advisor, someone with the ability to help guide your client’s business into the future.

4. Responsibility

You create a preference, in a similar way, when you take responsibility for a greater outcome. When you offer outcomes (instead of just products and services), you create a preference by taking on a higher level of accountability. Coupled with your deep understanding, this makes you a more strategic partner by allowing you to become an integrated part of how your client does business. You bring ideas, which are invaluable.

5. Value

Economic value, too, creates a preference. One of the most significant changes in sales over the last few decades has been the whittling away of sales relationships built solely on a likeability and friendship. Those things are still important, of course, but they need to be coupled with economic value. Your solution must create results, and one of those measurements will be financial. You create a preference when your value creates a greater economic impact (which can be done even at a higher price).

What are you doing to create a preference and bias toward working with you over all the other salespeople in your field? How can you create a bias toward your vision of your client’s future? How does what you’re selling and how you’re selling it integrate you into your client’s organization?

How can you become a “category of one”?

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