How one can develop rapidly regardless of uncertainty
“One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is trying to be considered everything to everyone, not important to a select group or niche,” Matthew Pollard told BenefitPRO Broker Expo attendees.
Today’s leaders face new challenges that threaten their continued growth and survival. With increasing competition, disruptive technologies and a difficult economic climate, market shares are dwindling and cheaper acquisitions are steadily increasing. During an insightful keynote on the first day of the BenefitsPRO Broker Expo in San Diego, attendees learned tips on how to stay competitive and achieve sustainable success in an ever-changing landscape.
The tips came from internationally recognized sales rep, Matthew Pollard, who was personally responsible for five multi-million dollar business success stories in industries from telecommunications to government-accredited education. His strategies are said to have changed more than 3,500 customer companies.
Related: 100 sales and marketing tips: 2021 edition
According to Pollard, there are only three key steps to achieving rapid growth: differentiation and unified messaging; Niche marketing; and implementation of a distribution systematization.
Differentiation and Unified Messaging
“Most people don’t spend the time sharpening their actions,” he explained. “Unfortunately, while many people spend years perfecting their functional skills, they tend to spend little to no time perfecting how to convert customer interest into sales.”
He encouraged the audience to find a way to differentiate. “People want to identify with your message and they pay a premium for that,” he said. “What you need to ask yourself is, ‘What is the message that is dividing you? What is the difference between you as an individual consultant and as an organization? What advantages do you offer? What is the overall benefit of it? What can help you break through the noise? ‘”It is these questions that will help your rapid growth, he said.
He also noted that not everyone should be your customer. “Why should you compete with everyone? You risk not being seen as the only logical choice, ”he explained. “There is so much complexity in your market and people can’t expect you to know everything, and if you tell them that, they won’t believe you.”
Niche marketing is about new leads and thinking about the unmet needs of the market that you can support, explained Pollard. “If you have the right message and target it to the right market, you will grow quickly.”
According to Pollard, “you talk to everyone, you talk to no one and you are expensive”. He encouraged audiences to stop trying to be like everyone else and learn to specialize and find a niche. “One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is trying to be everything to everyone, not essential to a select group or niche.”
It is this level of all-encompassing branding that leaves only the price to be debated, he added. For example, he said, when you build houses like everyone else, the only negotiating factor is price. In short, he said that you will keep reducing your prices just to get customers over your competition.
Systematisation of sales
Systematising sales was Pollard’s last key to rapid growth, which he learned through his own sales journey. “I was reading a sixth grader in late high school,” he said. “I was terribly introverted and didn’t know what to do with my life. I felt like the slow kid all my life. I did not know, what I should do.”
Unsure of what he wanted to do with his life and exhausted from the exertion of finishing school, he decided to postpone attending university and instead ended up with the only job he could find: the door-to-door -Sales only on a commission basis.
Not only did he struggle to read the product and educational materials, he said he was uncomfortable with his manners due to a case of chronic acne and debilitating introversion. “While this job was the stuff of nightmares, there was literally no other choice.”
Just like at school, he made systems that worked. He watched YouTube videos for hours every day, learned the elements of a successful sale, honed the techniques, made some of his own, sorted them out one by one, and practiced, practiced, practiced.
It worked. He stated that within five months he was the company’s youngest state manager, overseeing 15 salespeople and training them all on his system. Just four months later, this tiny state of South Australia had outperformed the country’s largest markets.
He said he was trying to figure it out and look at sales like it was a system like anything else. “It’s a fully learnable skill,” he said. “The difference between success and failure can be a simple thing that you don’t see yet, so learning the process is so important.”