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Sales 101 – Be a Specialist

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This one is a case of ‘Do as I tell you, don’t do as I do’ kind of article. You see, although I am a ‘specialist’ in what I do, I am also a ‘generalist’ in what I know! Talk about confusing the masses!

Actually it’s not that difficult. Let me explain – as an Internal Auditor, I was trained (and through experience over the years) to notice certain things. Let’s me be honest here – if you have changed your hairstyle or bought a new outfit, generally speaking, I won’t notice anything at all. Put me in a ‘business or working’ environment though and I will be able to spot everything ‘out of the ordinary’ and even some things that you never even thought about looking at. Now here comes the kicker – it doesn’t matter if that business or working environment is in the retail sector, manufacturing sector, security sector, medical sector – in fact any sector that you could possibly think of, I would still be able to tell you if something was ‘off’. So in this instance, although I am a ‘specialist’ in what I do, I am also a ‘generalist’ too.

Ok, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get back to the business at hand. I love going to the Rosebank flea market – not because I love to shop – but because that’s where I buy my slippers and that’s where I love to buy cheese and there are one or two second hand book stalls that I have to be very disciplined in when I get there. The rest of the flea market – quite honestly, I don’t even bother with. The reason for that is that they are all the same! Every stall sells the same thing – all the clothing stalls sell more or less the same clothing, all the tourist souvenir spots all sell the same and boredom sets in very quickly.

Think about it logically for a moment – if you are exactly the same as all of your competitors, the whole thing becomes quite monotonous and actually what you are doing is making selling that much harder for yourself. Who wants to make life harder for themselves. Certainly not me, and I suspect you wouldn’t want to do that either.

So now logic must tell you that you have to make yourself different in some way, more exciting, more appealing. You could ‘narrow’ your target market a bit – make whatever you do (product or service) more specialized. Up your credibility or your service. Collaborate with someone else and give ‘more’ than expected.

Whatever it is that you decide to do, remember you have to be ‘a cut above the rest’ – be noticed, be remembered, be credible, be authentic.