Don’t Be a ‘Me-Too’ Salesperson

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This article originally appeared on RainToday

My 30th high school reunion is coming up. (Gasp! How can I be that old?) And it has me remembering what it was like during those years—wanting so badly to fit in, to be one of the “cool kids.”

If one of the “cool kids” had a new style purse, dress, shirt, haircut—you name it—I wanted the same. Nearly all of us did. If you look at my high school yearbook, most of the girls look the same. It felt safe. You blended in.

Once in a while I would take a chance and break away from the “uniform,” and it was scary as hell. But you know what? People noticed—and in a good way. I introduced something new to our world of sameness. I stopped being a follower.

Break from the Pack

When you think about your sales strategy, you need to do the same thing: stand out. Don’t be like all of the others, as Charles H. Green writes in his RainToday article Don’t Be a Social Selling Lemming.

“A strategy that doesn’t distinguish you from competitors’ strategies is not a strategy at all,” he says. “The whole point of a competitive strategy is to point out why you, in some important way, are different from your competitors.”

Green further says following best practices is anti-strategic, as it makes you look like everyone else. “A ‘me-too’ strategy isn’t a strategy at all,” he says.

Rather than doing what everyone else is doing, ask yourself what makes you different and whether customers notice that difference, Green says.

Stand-out Networking

One place where you can stand out is in your networking. You can do what most others do: talk about your business and hand out your business card, with little to no chance of ever hearing from the person again.

Or you can do what Ivan Misner’s friend Jerry does and make real connections with people.

“When you talk to Jerry, you really feel listened to. He maintains eye contact and focuses on you. In fact, you almost have to force him to share about his business and how you can help him. You can count on Jerry to follow up on referrals you send him in a timely manner, and he returns your calls and emails within a day or two,” Misner writes in his RainToday article Generating Referrals: Kiss Fewer Frogs.

“After an encounter with Jerry, you feel like royalty.”

Unique Sales Skills and Strengths

While it would be nice to have a uniform team of sellers—all with equally strong sales skills and motivations: that reality is far from true. Each person is unique, and sales managers need to recognize and understand their differences in order to build their sales capabilities, writes Colleen Francis in her RainToday article Why Sales Training Isn’t Working, Part 2.

Each person needs to be evaluated and training customized, she says. Further, each team member should have personal goals and targets rather than a broad one for everyone. And each should receive post-training support to keep them on track and hold them responsible for meeting their goals.

“The first step is to always understand where your team members fit within the skill and motivation matrix, followed by appropriate training. After that, all it takes is a deep focus on application and responsibility,” Francis says. “With these drivers of growth, you’ll be surprised how quickly your sales take off.”

Michelle Davidson is Editor of RainToday. As such, she oversees all of the articles published on the website and publishes the weekly newsletter, the Rainmaker Report. She also produces the site’s weekly podcast series, RainToday’s Sales Tips & Techniques Podcast, and the site’s webinars. You may contact her via email at and via Twitter at @michedav.

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