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Are you selling a concept or a concrete solution?

Starting line for a race

Would you run the same way in a marathon as you would in a 100-meter dash?

Of course not. There are different approaches or strategies to running and winning a race.

The same is true when it comes to your message strategy while pursuing sales.

Your sales message must change any time your audience, goals, or topic changes. Otherwise it's so broad and general that it won't have impact.

But where you are in the race to sell has big implications, too.

If you are early in your sales cycle with a customer, you are likely competing against the status quo: the way they operate or work today. If this is the case, you're really selling a concept. Not only does the message need to reflect that, there are specific types of evidence that will help your customer buy into the concept.

Later, once the customer has bought into the concept, they are likely looking at other alternatives (ie. your competitors) to see whose concrete solution, pricing, ability, and/or experience can best deliver on the concept. So your message must change and there are other types of evidence better suited to differentiate you and lead to your solution.

So don't show up at your next customer meeting and present the nearly identical message and re-shuffled slide deck you delivered last time. If you do, you're at risk of someone else winning the sales race.

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