Results Based Sales: Take a Position

December 2nd, 2009 by

By Pat Hinds,

My co-worker was an educator for many years with a social studies focus; in conversations he told me one of his goals as an educator was to teach students how to take a “position” on an issue and learn to defend the position. As a professional sales person, it is important that you also have the ability to formulate a position statement about your company’s products and services and are able to support your position statement with facts, features, benefits and customer examples. I went to the web to find some definitions on Position Statements and listed below are a few examples:

Position Statement Definitions
• A position statement is an opinion.
• A positioning statement provides direction or focus to a business or organization. It is a no nonsense statement of how your company is perceived in the minds of your target market.
• A product’s “position” is the place it occupies in the customer’s mind.

What I found interesting about these definitions is a position statement is an “opinion” that creates a “perception”. In June I wrote a blog called “Perception, Reality, Action” where “Perception-in-action” is defined as the notion that perception is a requisite property of animate action; without perception, action would not be guided and without action, perception would be pointless. Animate actions require perceiving and moving together. In a sense, “perception and movement” are two sides of the same coin, the coin is action. Stating a position creates a perception in the mind of your client and/or prospect; the creation of perception motivates action that can result in opportunity.

Listed below are examples of how a position statement creates a perception resulting in a action:

Example 1:
Position – We offer the lowest price.
Perception – Lowering cost in the current economic environment would be helpful.
Action – Why don’t you give me a quote?

Example 2:
Position – We offer the lowest price.
Perception – Low cost items don’t work in our environment.
Action – I am happy with the quality of my existing vendor, thanks for the meeting.

Sales people need to understand the value of a position statement and work with customers to uncover the perception and action that have resulted from the position statement. Sales people should define a position statement for their company, product lines and the value they bring to a sales cycle.

Topics: Sales Consulting