Positioning In Sales – How To Sell Effectively
Positioning in sales is very important if you want to stand out from the competition, win more sales and serve more people.
But how does effective positioning in sales work?
What is it – and what strategies and tactics can you use to position yourself in a way that’ll build confidence and certainty with your potential client?
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What positioning in sales means
- What effective positioning in sales looks like
- The three-step pre-frame system we recommend Sales Professionals to use to successfully position yourself as a trusted authority
Positioning In Sales – How To Sell Effectively
What Does Positioning In Sales Mean?
Positioning in sales means to create a perception with your potential client that you are the best person to speak with, to solve a specific problem and offer a solution to an issue they have.
Successful positioning in sales means to position yourself as a trusted adviser, and as a person who isn’t just there to ‘take an order’.
A person who positions themselves as a specialist and adviser, will win more clients than a person who merely positions themselves as a commodity.
What Effective Positioning In Sales Looks Like
As mentioned, effective positioning in sales in to take the position of a Sales Professional who is a trusted adviser.
Let’s look at what a trusted adviser means, and what you need to do to position yourself in this way.
Question Based Selling
When you go to a medical specialist; you’ll notice a few common themes.
Firstly – they’ll ask you a lot of questions, and dive deep into your responses.
Secondly – they don’t talk about what they do and why; they keep the conversation focused on you.
Lastly, they don’t do something we call premature presentation – instead they carefully listen to your issues, what you need solved – and then finally prescribe a solution to your issues and pain points.
Then why do so many salespeople follow a different approach?
Most salespeople do their positioning in sales conversations incorrectly.
- They build some quick rapport
- They continue to present their product or service
- The potential client gives them objections
- The salesperson tries to go back and forth, and go for the close
This model although still widely taught, is an outdated sales model that should have been well left in the 80’s.
Instead, at The 5% Institute we recommend Sales Professionals follow a consultative and question-based approach.
This approach helps your positioning in sales conversations because it demonstrates that you’re there to dive deep and solve their actual problem from the root level, rather than stay on the surface.
Furthermore – because people usually experience this approach with medical specialists, you subconsciously position your sales conversation with the experience they’d have with a medical specialist.
People trust medical specialists – they go to them for important advice, and rarely argue about their prescription.
It’s important to do the same if you wish to enhance your positioning in sales conversations.
Positioning In Sales – How To Do It Step By step
The first mistake salespeople make in relation to their positioning in sales conversations, is that they present too soon, they don’t qualify correctly, and they don’t handle sales objections.
As Will Rogers once famously said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
A powerful positioning in sales conversation starter, is something we call a ‘pre-frame’.
Effective Positioning In Sales Using A Pre-Frame
Prior to starting your sales conversation, is imperative for your effective positioning in sales efforts that you start with something called a pre-frame.
Think of a sales conversation as a frame – you’ll ask a set of conversations and frame the conversation in a way by asking the right questions to learn their situation and pain and position your offer as a solution of you can in fact help them.
When you go into handling sales objections mode – that is your re-frame.
You’ll be re-framing their mindset from having areas of concern, to working with you understand your positioning as to why they should buy or invest.
A pre-frame is the conversation you have prior to the deep dive sales conversation.
The pre-frame helps position you as a trusted authority, specialist in your field, as well as gives you permission to have a more authentic conversation with your potential client.
In The 5% Sales Blueprint, we teach Sales Professionals to ensure they cover three key areas in their pre-frame, prior to starting their deep dive sales conversation.
The first thing you must cover for effective positioning in sales conversations and your pre-frame, is to ensure that the right decision makers are present prior to going into your sales conversation.
Who has authority to make a buying decision?
Is the product purely for themselves – or are they speaking with you on behalf of another decision maker?
It’s important to get in front of decision makers for two key reasons:
- You want to be the one selling to decision makers – by giving away information to someone who will sell on your behalf, is a risky move, and won’t help your effective positioning in sales efforts
- The reason why potential clients come up with the “I need to speak to” sales objections, is because the decision maker isn’t present. By ensuring they’re present up front, you’ll eliminate the objection from coming up later
Effective Positioning In Sales – Deep Diving Questions
Without learning about your potential client’s pain, it’ll be difficult to sell them a solution.
People buy because they’re looking for a solution to an issue they’re having, and a key part of the correct positioning in sales conversation will be to ask them deep diving questions to learn about the emotional pain they’re currently experiencing.
Finding pain can’t just be on the surface – you need to learn the various levels of pain, and what kinds of questions to ask to get there.
You can’t however just inform your potential client that you’ll be looking for pain.
You do however need to ask them permission to ask questions, so that you can find out if you can in fact really help them with their current issues.
By getting permission to do so, you’ll find little resistance once you start asking open ended and probing questions.
To learn more about the pain finding process, read the related article below.
Further reading: Pain Points & Sales – Your Ultimate Guide
Permission To Say No
So many Sales Professionals chase their tails, by speaking with potential clients who told them “I need to think about it”.
Most of the time, the “I need to think about it” sales objection means no – but the potential client was worried they’d offend you if they initially told you they weren’t interested.
The third technique to help you with your trusted authority positioning in sales approach, is to simply let the potential client that if at any time during the conversation – during or after that they feel you’re not the right fit, it is more than OK to let you know.
This does two effective things:
- It takes a lot of weight, resistance and friction off their shoulders, because they know you’re coming from a place of prescription, rather than a pushy ‘always be closing’ approach
- You get to the truth – you’ll get the real answer, versus crossing your fingers and hoping they’ll call you back when they’re not in fact interested
These three core features in our pre-frame will help your positioning in sales efforts by positioning you as a trusted adviser, rather than someone who must close at all costs.
Final Thoughts On Our Positioning In Sales Guide
This positioning in sales guide will help you with your sales conversations, because by following the pre-frame – you’ll demonstrate that you’re not desperate, and you truly care about learning about their issues and needs.
Rather than presenting first and hoping something sticks, you’ll be using the starting framework of a consultative approach.
Follow these tips carefully, and you’ll be positioning yourself in your sales conversations as the ‘go to’ source.