The Negotiator Magazine

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During an initial interview, you have very little time to capture the attention of your prospective client. You must quickly send the ‘right’ signals about what you can do for him or her. Therefore, you have to make a positive impact at the very beginning you must make your prospect sit up, take notice, and quickly conclude that you are like no other sales professional he or she has ever met before. You do this by positioning yourself as an invaluable resource.

You can’t position yourself as an invaluable resource by title (sales professional) or product (insurance, computers, on line services, etc). Positioning by these two methods only puts you in the same arena with all other sales professionals and no differentiating value. Instead, you must make it clear that you can help deliver at least one of these four outcomes:

  1. Increase profits. In other words, you must show how working with you will help your clients attain profits and profits, after all, are what supports the person’s lifestyle goals!
  2. Increase productivity. You must show how working with you will save your client time and money through the services you have to offer.
  3. Reduce costs. You must show how working with you cost your clients less money overall than working with your competition. The key word here is cost, not price. Your fees may be higher, but at the end of the day, if your clients realized a reduction in the overall costs they incurred in attaining their goals, you’re a better value. Costs include time, money and level of frustration.
  4. Increased competitive advantage- For commercial clients, this includes helping your clients maintain the competitive advantage by providing them with desired levels of return on investment -- and providing their employees with benefit plans that make them want to stay.

The Titan Principle Now that you know what you need to do to position yourself as an invaluable resource, how do you do it? Many people think clients only want the lowest price available. While price is an issue, it is not the driving issue in most cases. Clients want to be heard and understood!
Here are seven ways to send that message and position yourself as an invaluable resource:

1. Create and Use a Resource Proclamation
To gain a client’s attention, you must first focus on the results you offer your clients, not on your services. The results constitute the "what" what your clients can expect from a relationship with you. Your services constitute the "how"how you are going to help them get those results.

You need a Resource Proclamation-- a statement you make that sets you apart from all other sales professionals and tells clients more about who you are than any title could ever do. A Resource Proclamation outlines what you have to offer your client in a simple and direct manner. For example:

"I help clients achieve their life's goals through investments."
"I am a Life Advisor who specializes in money." This example is taken from Bill Bachrach’s Values-Based Selling book.

Now, doesn’t this sound more interesting and powerful than saying "I’m a sales professional" when someone asks what you do for a living?

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July 2006