Over the course of my career — as a salesperson, a sales manager, a senior executive and now, as a sales trainer — I’ve watched selling undergo dramatic changes. Prospecting is harder, competition is fiercer and closing is never a sure thing.
One of the most monumental changes is that the balance of power has forever shifted from the salesperson to the customer because consumers have 24/7 access to all the buying information they could ever want. With a few clicks, processes and pricing for any product or service under the sun is readily available. This puts the onus on originators to distinguish themselves from other producers in the marketplace. Considering there are 300,000 originators in our industry competing for a finite number of prospects and referral sources, this is no easy task!
While selling is tougher than ever, most salespeople already understand that they must be knowledgeable, good listeners and empathetic if they want to earn the business. However, top producers realize that they must align their sales pitch to meet a buyer’s specific needs and deliver value if they want to perform at a high level. This all boils down to originators being able to answer and articulate how they differ from other sales professionals. If originators can’t do that, they will not win in today’s ultra-competitive selling environment.
Highest Level of Selling
Top originators are masters at distinguishing themselves from the rest of the pack in the eyes of prospects and referral sources. Moreover, they are relentless in finding new ways to provide value for their clients and are continually tweaking their sales model.
While average salespeople let their companies dictate what sets them apart from others, the best in our business personalize their sales approach based on what matters to individual prospects. It is always about the customer.
Defining Your Value Proposition
Each originator must decide for themselves what value means if they want a long career in selling. Sales professionals who have taken the time to define their personal value proposition will dominate in their marketplace because so many producers never bother to do it.
But, establishing a value proposition is not a one-time event. Like most things in business, it needs to be redefined continually because the selling environment is in a constant state of flux.
For consumers and referral sources, the bar has been raised on what they are looking for from a partnership with an originator. What prospects valued in the past may be very different than what matters most to them today.
What Top Realtors Say about Value
I recently spoke with Steve Capen, a leading Realtor who defined value as, “No surprises.” To be sure, every Realtor defines value from originators a little differently. Some want leads from a producer, others look for help with complex deals and other agents may be interested in joint marketing ventures. Just as Realtors value different things, so do consumers. Originators must be attuned to what diverse segments of their target audience want and be prepared to deliver it.
As we prepare for a more difficult financial market in 2022, originators who want to succeed must review their marketplace and strengths and determine what their unique value proposition is for prospects and referral sources. What makes you different from the hundreds of thousands of originators out there and how will you communicate this to the people who need your services the most?