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Traditional sales wisdom tells us to sell our businesses to potential clients by “demonstrating value.” By showing the benefits gained or losses avoided by hiring us – and buying our products or services – we will easily persuade new customers to sign on the dotted line.

The trouble is, the business world is becoming increasingly crowded. The internet allows us to approach, pitch and work with clients and suppliers scattered across the globe. This might seem like a blessing at first glance, but it now means you are competing in a global market, rather than a local one. And with every competitor “demonstrating value” just as well as you are, it has become increasingly difficult to stand out.

So how do you differentiate yourself in the modern business world?

Stop just solving the same problems you always solve. Stop just producing value that benefits your customer right now. Instead, provide the answer to the big question – why should I change what I’m doing now?

You need to go beyond the present and show the client the changes they need to start making now, in order to succeed in the future. Don’t just address the issues they’re facing at present, show that you understand where industry developments are heading, what trends are emerging. The risks and opportunities a fresh pair of eyes can see ahead. Explain to your potential client the ways they can capitalise on these to ensure future success, and avoid any potential pitfalls that could cause problems. By showing them how you can help lead them to a bigger, brighter future, you’ll stand out over your competitors who are only pitching to improve things right now.

Beyond this, you also need to change how you present your role in the future, and how you will work with them through this change. The key word here is ‘with.’ Instead of focusing on the usual convenience benefits of hiring an outside ‘separate’ subcontractor, show how you will work alongside the client, even ‘integrated’ with them, as you help them change and grow their organisation.

The new sales world requires you to be more than a service provider – you are a trusted advisor. Demonstrate you can be relied on for professional, considered, expert guidance, and this will set you far above your competitors.

So, ‘why should I change what I’m doing now?’ You can see now how this question both applies to you reading this right now, and is a question you need to answer for clients in future if you want to stay ahead in your industry.

This approach may be a big change to how you are ‘selling yourself’ right now and adjusting it might seem daunting, but it’s worth the effort to become a leading provider in your field.

If you would like to talk about how you can change your positioning in this way, and need a little guidance, please give me a call or send me a message so I can see how I can help you.