Differentiate or Die!

by Barry M.
(Pittsburgh, PA)

I purposely used that ludicrous title - and I think it is a really phrase people use in sales and marketing - because I think people put far too much emphasis on how to differentiate themselves and not enough effort in actual connecting with customers, which is more important.


I would much rather have an okay value proposition with and excellent sales and marketing strategy than to have an excellent differentiation strategy with an only mediocre sales team. At the end of the day, how different can you possibly be when there are 100s - if not 1000s - of similar people and companies doing what you do?

I know that it is good to be different and that a lot of the times it is the little things that can make a big difference like an extra feature there or an additional service there. That being said, none of that matters if you do not have the sales and marketing ability to get your message out in front of folks!

I think a differentiated communication strategy is more valuable now that consumers are flooded with so many products and services to choose from. It is no longer the case that if you build a great product or service, people will beat a path to your door, or that you can get buy on quality and a superior - or differentiated - product or service alone.

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May 30, 2011
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Thank You
by: Hussain

Thanks for the great post, Barry!

Ha, that is a funny title and yes, I do believe I have heard something of the sort in sales and marketing jargon over the years. A lot of companies talk about sales and marketing like it is war and while there is a certain amount of strategy to it, from my perspective the real battle is to win the hearts and minds of your audience and you simply cannot do this by force.

I totally agree with what you are saying, after thinking about it. Having a passionate, personable person is far better than having a "smooth" professional who makes sales calls by simply reading from a script. In the same way, if you have a really clever message or value proposition but you do not know how to really engage with people, you are going to be dead in the water.

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