Differentiate on How You Sell – Not What You Sell
One of our sales reps has asked me to explain our experience in sales training within the computer industry. I was an IBM Business Partner in the 80’s. I owned a company (Currentech) that was one of the top 25 IBM Resellers in the US. Currentech was founded in 1982, a pivotal year in the industry as IBM had just announced its first PC. IBM decided to authorize over 2,000 dealers nationwide. I had 40 competitors in my backyard (Minneapolis). Most were significantly larger and better financed. Large competitors bought IBM products at C level while I bought at B Level (a 7% higher price).
Survival meant growing faster than others in order to achieve and maintain C Level. We sold the same “boxes” and similar “value added” services. Fortunately, for me and Currentech, I decided that we needed to find a way to differentiate from the competition around something other than our products and services.
I decided that we would have “The Best Trained Sales Force in the Computer Products Business.” We would not differentiate around “what” we sold. We would differentiate around “how” we sold. We began a rigorous training schedule focused on developing our selling skills.
Within months we were outselling our competition up and down the streets of Minneapolis/St. Paul. We gobbled up nearly every large account. Our growth was 6 times the industry average.
Obviously, we had to do many things right to have this experience. But, after selling the company in 1989, I looked back on what allowed us to experience the success that we had. The single most important thing that we did was the training of our sales force on selling skills. In 1990, I decided to document what we had done and package it so other companies could develop their selling differential like Currentech had done.
The result is Action Selling. Over the years, The Sales Board has been developing and enhancing this important sales training product. Today, it is the best sales training program in the world. Does it fit the needs of the computer industry? Absolutely! Will it allow you to grow faster than your competitors? If you implement Action Selling based on our training methodology, I guarantee it.
Good Action Selling!