As an experienced seller you will know how important it is to sell the difference to your customer. To succeed in a competitive market, where products and services are becoming more alike, you need to know what your differentiators are and how they benefit your customer.

Often referred to as USPs, these differentiators exist in three main areas:

  • Your product or service
  • Your organisation – the way you do business
  • You – what can you do that your competitors are unlikely to do?

Encouraging businesses and salespeople to identify and develop their USPs across these three areas is a big part of LDL sales training. But in our new era of virtual selling, we’ve noticed that a new differentiator is also emerging – the meta differentiator. Just as a meta description tells you what is on a webpage but is not necessarily visible on the page, similarly a meta differentiator tells you something about a supplier without necessarily being obvious. You can’t put your finger on it, but there is something about the process and the people that you feel comfortable with. You trust them.

Perhaps the most obvious meta differentiator is doing what you say, when you say. If you agree to call somebody at 3:15 pm – be on time! Don’t call at 3:16 pm. This is even more important with Zoom/Teams/WebEx calls. If you have agreed to have a video call at 11.00 am, BE ON TIME – not 30 secs late! With video calls it’s usually better to be slightly early so you don’t run the risk of being late. Of course this is common sense but it just isn’t common practice… it really isn’t. Perhaps sellers think it makes them appear too keen – but, guess what, that’s the idea!

How Meta Differentiators Set You Apart

Video calls are where meta differentiators really add value. The way you look and sound on screen communicates the care, attention and effort you put into your work. Simply flipping open your laptop and using the built in camera and microphone is unlikely to create an optimal impression.

In an earlier post Virtual Selling Best Practice we looked at a good virtual selling set up. This includes:

  1. External HD WebCam – people buy by their eyes. Looking blurred or fuzzy is a missed opportunity. The Logitech C922 or Brio are recommended.
  2. External USB microphone – when you sound good, people listen. Most people ignore sound quality but it is often more important than video quality. The Blue Yeti or Rode NT-USB are both excellent.
  3. Be well lit – use one or two LED lamps either side of your screen. There are many options available. Taotronics make good desk lamps which you can adjust to forward project. If you wear glasses use a soft light to avoid shadows.
  4. Choose an appropriate background.

These four are valuable meta differentiators – they add a touch of quality and class to your sales approach. The customer is drawn towards your offering. You stand out.

Are You Better On Your Feet?

Most of us have more impact on our feet in which case you may want to invest in a stand-up desk so you can stand during the call and still see your screen. Standing-up adds energy and helps you to be at your best when it counts. Energy sells. The Oploft sit-stand platform is a versatile solution.

Salespeople report that their win rates are much higher with video calls than just using the phone. So if you have a potential new customer get them on a Zoom call or equivalent as early as possible.

One of LDL’s Consultants often relates a story of how, as a young salesperson, his managing director said to him “If your product display is a bit off, they are likely to think your offering is a bit off as well”. The same applies to today’s virtual selling. If your setup is below par then maybe what you’re offering is as well.

What do your meta differentiators say about you?

Learn more about LDL sales training, or read another LDL blog to learn more about what to do if your sales differentiators are elusive.

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