In yesterday’s post I asked you to do an exercise for me.


  • Write down 5 practical and tangible ways that your product or service is greater than your competition and why those would be important to your prospect.
  • Write down 5 non-transactional value adds you and your company bring to the table and why those would be important to your prospect.

Mom, Why Am I Different?

Today I want to walk you through a process that will help you determine the best questions you can ask, and the verbiage you can use that will clearly communicate to your prospect the multitude of reasons that you and your company are the best choice for them.

First, take out your list from yesterday.  As we go through this exercise today please understand that you should use a similar process to determine the questions and phrases you will use to walk your prospect through a discussion and needs analysis.

Follow the model of questions first – solutions later.

Review the 5 tangible ways that your product or service is greater than your competition.  Now shift your focus to why those differences are important to your prospect.  After all, it doesn’t matter how magically fast your delivery is if your prospect doesn’t really care about that particular issue.  Do some analysis on the 5 competitive differentiators you listed.  If there are any of those items on your list with which your prospect is really not going to be concerned – eliminate them.  Keep working through your list until you have 5 differences that you are reasonably certain that most of your prospects will care about.

Now, select a difference and why that difference is important to your prospect.  What questions could you ask them that would get them to talk about why they have a need for that particular differentiator?  Remember: questions first, solutions later.  You can’t tell them why they need it – they need to tell you.


Competitive Differentiator:  You get your product to the customer in 2 days – your competition gets theirs to the customer in 10 days.

Questions: Can you tell me about your customer’s needs and how our product fits into your business model?  How would delivery times affect your profitability?  Do I understand that you are saying quicker delivery on the supplier end creates higher profitability on your end?  How is that working with your current supplier?  Could you estimate how much more profitable you would be if your delivery were cut from 10 days to 2?  Would that be important enough to consider a change?

Non-transactional Value Add:  You constantly find ways to refer business to your customers to help them do more business.

Questions: How do you generate new customers?  Where do you find your prospects?  Other than your sales team, who in the community is actively referring business to you? What questions do I need to ask the people in my circle of influence to best determine if they are someone that I should refer to you? 

Keep working through your list.

The verbiage you will use to present your solution is simple.  Earlier you said…  We can do…  That will give you…  How do you see that affecting your…?

Know what keeps your prospect up at night.  Develop questions around those concerns that can be addressed by your product or service.

The greater your ability to get them talking – the greater your success will be because you will be truly helping them solve their problems.  You win when they win.


What are your top 10 questions?

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