LAJ ARTICLES

Sales Assembly Line. Part 9. Breeding Competition

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Breeding competition is a station on your new client assembly line. Your choice is either build it to your specifications or have the competition build it to theirs.
You cannot build a substitute offering within your own company, so build it in theirs.
Competition, either from a market leader allocating resources to grab market share or a new entrant is inevitable. This is a good thing, it reassures the prospect that the industry is credible and they can test between choices. When there is a choice one of them will be the fail safe, the other won’t. The ‘safe’ choice wins the ‘premium’ award, the substitute wins the ‘lower cost of acquisition but longer time to recover sunk costs’ award.
Everyone in the organization has to be aligned with defining the competition in the marketplace. If you rely on each employee to soak up competitive business intelligence and you will fail, each person will touch a different part of the elephant, this is bad. Rehearsing and role-playing has to become mechanical in department meetings, each participant imprinting, everyone must frame the competition consistently.
Another part of this is having the discipline to refer unsuitable prospects to the substitute. The return will be a residual, old prospects will grow into your offering, they will refer you the best of their peers. By doing this your are quickly giving the competition problemsome, low margin clients. Let them exhaust their internal resources servicing the bad. Winning is a battle of attrition.
The start of the station is actively deciding who you want the competition to be, this requires a corporate self-awareness. On a whiteboard map out a competitor that you can win the battles for the client profile you are actively trying to capture. If this company does not yet exist you have to seek them out. Entice them, be visible, make speaking appearances where their execs and clients are. You cannot become the market leader unless there is a benchmark and the prospect feels reassured that their choice is the right one and not coerced into the only one. Their reluctance will compromise your margin and your ability to become the premier incumbent. When you are the best amongst their choices they will pay more.
Have your execs pitch their execs on the compelling market opportunity. Describe exactly where you want them to be, the margins, where you will give them free rein.
You must be breeding competition in your test tube.
Down the road you will be collide on some deals. May the best salesperson win
The End?
This is a long essay that I have divided up into its component pieces:
The Cultural Shift
Define It or the Prospect Will
Exploiting the First Mover Advantage
Reverse Engineering a 300% Price Increase
Each Sales Office is a Franchise
Why Good Salespeople Fail
Why The CEO Should Not Be Selling
Intimacy is a Premium
Breeding Your Competitors
SDR’s. Million Dollar Solution. Hundred Dollar Problem

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