A debut philosophical treatise on selling that challenges commonly accepted sales principles.
Consider a sales situation in which a salesperson guides a prospective buyer into accepting and embracing change—but doesn’t mention the product or service being sold. Many salespeople would reject it outright, but according to Knecht, “differentiation selling”—a concept he developed after extensive research—can lead to sales success for services and solutions in competitive markets. This pamphlet-sized work first lays out differentiation selling’s philosophy, and then demonstrates it in action. The basic premise is that a salesperson’s role is to guide a prospective client “to question decisions made in the past” because the individual “needs to negotiate with himself or herself. The value of your solution becomes apparent when it is compared with the alternatives: your unique buying proposition comes to the fore.” Salespeople comfortable with traditional sales pitches may find such a consultative approach difficult to swallow, and that’s why Knecht’s examples prove valuable, as he offers a list of actual “process-oriented questions” to ask prospective buyers, along with situational dialogue. He includes an extensive bibliography to help support his unconventional way of thinking, and his own writing is clear, direct and to the point, his message appropriately short and easy to read. In the end, differentiation selling comes across as not merely a novel sales technique, but as an intriguing sales philosophy, even if it may be antithetical to how most salespeople operate. As such, although differentiation selling may seem refreshingly sensible to some readers, it may be a hard sell for others.
A thought-provoking sales alternative that may appeal to forward-thinking sales managers.