I get it. The “system” seems to be set up to commoditize sellers. There are procurement people with letters after their names that specialize in a special form of torture. Dreaded RFPs. Invitations to come do your Dog and Pony Show or present a capabilities overview. Buyers who seem disinterested in why and how you, your company, and your solution are different. Prospects dictating your sales process. Customers who jump to price within a nanosecond. And so on…
You’re correct. All of the above is happening. And it’s squeezing the fun, creativity, and margin out of our sales. I also sell to companies who attempt to do this to me. I even have a client where it feels like the purchasing department has more power than the senior executives. It’s crazy. Frankly, it’s also stupid because the customer ends up with a suboptimal solution. As I said to begin this article: I get it. This is real phenomenon, it stinks, and it’s happening to everyone who sells.
However, and this is a BIG however, do you think it’s also possible that maybe, just maybe, your own sales approach is causing customers to perceive and treat you as nothing more than a “vendor” instead of of the expert, value-creator, and consultant that you so badly want to be?
Is it possible that your own mindset, your words, and your actions are also contributing to getting you commoditized?
I would argue strongly that the answer to both of those questions is a resounding yes. I see it across sales teams in the wide variety of businesses I work with everyday – many of whom sell highly differentiated, high-value solutions. And that’s why I’m on a mission to expose these deadly sales sins that get salespeople and their companies relegated to vendor status and treated as nothing more than commodity sellers.
Late last year I penned this short ebook: THE SEVEN DEADLY SALES SINS – Why Salespeople Get Perceived as Nothing More than Vendors & Commodity Sellers. It’s free. No strings attached. And it’s less than a ten-minute read. Click here to view it online or download the PDF. All I ask is that you put down your defense shields and read it with an open mind. As you see the sins other salespeople are committing, ask yourself if you might be guilty, too. And if you get value from the eBook, please pass it along to others who might benefit.
The chances are that you and your product/service/solution deliver great value to your customers. Stop shooting yourself in the foot in the way you approach customers!