As competitive dealer principals, sales leaders, and sales reps, we all want to win. But in our highly commoditized industry it can be hard for buyers to differentiate between products that seem to have the same features and dealerships that all promise to deliver great service.
How do you differentiate in this marketplace? You need to resonate!
"It has been said that buyers buy with their hearts (emotions) and justify it with their heads (mind)," according to Mike Schultz and John Doerr, authors of Insight Selling. Their research shows that this is true of both consumer buying and B2B buying decisions.
When it comes time for the decision maker to choose, does you dealership resonate with the hearts of your buyers? Do they feel good about your company compared to other people?
What if winning deals had more to do with how your buyers feel about your dealership and less about the speeds and feeds?
The Importance of Resonance
Schultz and Doerr refer to this emotional connection as resonance. Miriam Webster defines the word resonate as "to relate harmoniously; strike a chord."
Consider the options:
- You Resonate with Buyers: Your company and your sales rep(s) strike a chord with a potential buyers. In a sea of sameness, they see something different in you. It's like there is an x-factor that they can't fully explain. But they definitely know they like you better.
- You Don't Resonate: Buyers see a stack of proposals with the same types of machines. Ultimately, they end up gravitating to the lowest price. Or, they turn toward another company that resonates with them.
Tom Hopkins says that people buy from sales reps that the "know, like, and trust." I think this same thing can be said about our companies. Thus, you need to create a dealership that people know, like, and trust--you need to resonate.
How Can You Create Resonance?
Striking a chord with our buyers requires two types of resonance: rational and emotional. Let's explore how your dealership can increase resonance in both of these areas.
This is the buyer's perception that your company will be able to save them money, solve a problem, or help them achieve a goal. You need to demonstrate that you have helped other clients achieve results. Here are a few ways you could do this in your marketing:
- Case Studies showing real-world success stories that your company has achieved
- Blog Articles that answer questions and translate technical concepts into real English
- Website Content that shows how the technology you offer can help companies achieve results
- Special Reports that offer valuable insight as to how companies can digitally transform their business
- Social Media updates that show how companies are using technology to streamline workflows and reduce risks
My favorite resource when it comes to the rational side of resonance is Marcus Sheridan's book, They Ask, You Answer. In this book he lays out the case that your company's website, blog, and social media should be anticipating and answering client questions. This helps create rational resonance.
This is the buyer's feelings toward a particular company. When it comes to your dealership, how do buyers feel about you?
There are many different companies that offer personal computers. I have no doubt that most of them have fantastic products, many of which are faster and more powerful than the MacBook Pro on which I am typing this article. Some of them are less expensive. Some are even thinner.
Why do I choose Apple over the sea of other options? Mainly because Apple has created an emotional response in me. Ever since the famous "Think Different" campaign in 1997, I've been emotionally connected to a company committed to reinventing the way I create ideas and the way I interact with the world.
The best strategy to create emotional resonance is to get inside the heart of your prospect. Nobody does this better than Donald Miller. In Building a Story Brand, he shares a strategy to generate emotional resonance with buyers by modeling the formula for a great movie.
Instead of writing website content that puts your company at the center, you write content that puts your buyer at the center. In essence, she becomes the hero of the story instead of your company. In turn, your company becomes the guide to help them get what they want.
We're starting to use this model for our website content (look for changes coming soon!) as well as with our clients that have engaged us to continually improve their websites with Growth Driven Design.
Here are a few other ways to create emotional resonance:
- References from other local business people that enjoy working with your team
- Involvement in local non-profits
- Facebook posts that showcase your people and your company culture
Start the Journey of Resonance
Let's build more resonance so we can create more competitive advantage and win more deals! I'd love to discuss this with you. Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn or share your comments below and let's discuss!