July 20, 2017

5 Effective Positioning Techniques for the Non-Salesy Entrepreneur


It just happened again.

Someone asked you about your business and once again, you didn’t have a compelling answer for them. You quickly tried to remember your “elevator pitch” that you’d practiced for hours in front of the mirror, but it didn’t work. The best you could do was just stammer out a weak description of the product or service your company offers.

We’ve all been there.

Every entrepreneur has completely botched it when it was time to pitch their company. It’s normal, especially for people who do not have a background in sales.

It’s likely that you read tons of articles in an effort to figure out the perfect way to describe your company.

But what if you didn’t have to? What if there were practical and effective techniques you could utilize to make your introduction more effective?

When trying to sell your brand, it’s better to understand effective sales techniques rather than just memorize a script. When you take the time to learn these techniques, you will introduce your company in a way that will make your company irresistible.

If you master the techniques in this post, you will find it easier to:

  • Give a persuasive introduction to your company.
  • Reinforce your branding throughout the conversation.
  • Inhabit a niche in your prospect’s mind.
  • Get them interested in your offerings.

These are techniques that successful salespeople use to charm their customers and get them to buy. They will also work for you!

Don’t Tell Them What You Do, Tell Them Who You Are

When you’re introducing your business, it’s not time to talk about the products or services that your company offers. Chances are, your prospect already knows what services you provide.

Instead, you need to let them know who you are, and you need to do it in a way that differentiates you from your competitors. The last thing you want to do is introduce your company as another “me too” brand.

Here’s an example:

If your business sells fishing equipment, don’t just tell them that you’re a fishing equipment provider. Tell them you’re the premier fishing equipment supplier in your locale. Or you could tell them that your company specializes in providing quality equipment specifically for bass fishermen.

Find a way to set yourself apart from your competition. Don’t tell them what you do, tell them who you are.

Focus On Outcomes

When positioning your company, it’s important to remember that it’s the outcomes your services provide that are important, not the services themselves. Your prospects only care about the services you provide when they know what these services will do for them. This is why it’s important to focus on the benefits your services offer.



If you have a management consulting firm, you don’t want to just talk about the consulting services you provide. Talk about the fact that your services help managers increase efficiency and make their teams more profitable.

Focusing on the outcomes of your services will help your prospects understand why they need them.

Give Them Evidence

Your claims, while certainly compelling, will not be able to stand on their own. Back them up with some evidence.

No, this doesn’t mean you need to show them all of the data and analytics that prove that your services work. It just means making a short statement about things your company has done.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s some examples:

  • We helped over 1,000 businesses optimize their IT procurement programs.
  • My last client experienced a 50 percent increase in sales.
  • We helped a client reduce their costs by $500,000 a month.

Not too hard, right? A quick example of the results your product or service has produced can strengthen your positioning.

Tell Them What You Stand For

Nowadays, consumers want to know what a brand stands for. You have to be about more than just your products or services.

Your brand has to have an actual personality. Yes, it is important to have a unique selling proposition, but it’s even more important to have a purpose.

A great example of this is Dell. Through their YouthConnect program, they provide technology education to kids in emerging countries. They don’t just stand for selling computers, they stand for helping disadvantaged children understand technology and how it can benefit their lives.

If your company is going to attract customers, you need to stand for something they can believe in. What problems can your product or service solve? When you identify your brand’s purpose, you can show your company’s human side. This will make it easier for prospects to relate to you.

Don’t Just Say It Once

When it comes to positioning, repetition is key. If you only use these techniques once, don’t expect the prospect to remember it. You have to reaffirm your position in each interaction.

Whenever there’s an opportunity in a conversation to reinforce your position, take the opportunity! Just make sure you do it in a way that isn’t awkward.

If the prospect makes a statement that is favorable to your position, use it.  In every interaction you have with your prospect, you should look for areas where you can reaffirm your position.

If the prospect starts talking about an issue they are having that your services could solve, it might be a good time to provide some evidence of how you have solved the same problem. You could also take the opportunity to reaffirm the outcome that solving this problem will provide.

Conclusion

For the non-salesy entrepreneur, the idea of being persuasive can be daunting. Many are intimidated by the prospect of having to influence others. However, it doesn’t have to be scary.

The same techniques that salespeople use can work for you. Effective positioning of your company will help you set the tone for your interactions with your prospects. If you do this right, you will impress your prospect and make it easier to get them to say “yes.”


Salesman Photo via Shutterstock

18 Comments ▼
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Jeff Charles


Jeff Charles Jeff Charles is the founder of Artisan Owl Media, an Austin-based content marketing agency that specializes in helping professional service firms increase their influence and earn more clients.

18 Reactions

  1. Really good post. I especially liked the point about focusing on outcomes.

    • Jeff Charles

      Hello Harlan,

      Thanks so much for your comment. Focusing on outcomes is so important. When you are pitching a product, service, or idea, you must do so with the end in mind. It’s the only way to get your prospect to see the true value of what you’re selling.

  2. Sherri Weidman

    It’s all about positioning as solutions for their challenges. Good article.

  3. Aira Bongco

    I’m guilty. I always find it hard to explain what I do. I guess it is all about results. I am slowly learning and soon, I will get there.

    • Jeff Charles

      Hello Aira,

      You’re not alone. So many entrepreneurs struggle with communicating their business to others in a way that is persuasive. It’s a challenge many people face, especially if they don’t have a background in sales.

      I’ve been in sales for over 10 years and sometimes it’s still difficult for me to explain my business in a way that positions myself the way I’d like. You’re right, you will learn and you will get there. Keep focusing on your development and it will become much easier.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      • Aira Bongco

        Yes Jeff. Sometimes, you can get so consumed with what you know that you find it hard to explain it to other people. Not to mention the fact that the people you’ll encounter will come from different backgrounds and thus have different languages and cultures.

  4. Jeff, thank you for sharing this. I am using this next time I will meet my potential client as well as for new web content to attract the clients. Thanks a lot. Marek

    • Jeff Charles

      Marek,

      No problem! I’m glad you got something out of the article. I should have more articles on this subject coming out soon. Seems to be a pretty popular topic. I’d love to hear about how it works for you.

      Thanks for your comment!

  5. At last someone who helps non sales sell. An excellent post.

    Thank you

    • Jeff Charles

      Hello Darryl,

      I think you’re right. I’ve looked online and there isn’t much material out there to help “non-salesy” entrepreneurs sell more effectively. That’s why I decided to start writing content on the issue. I’m glad you liked it. Thanks for the comment!

  6. It’s not easy to say you are not another ‘me too’ business which in fact your business is. However, I agree on your points on focusing on telling who you are instead of what you do, and the positive and quality outcomes from your product/service. Good article!

  7. I agree. Sometimes, you just need to tell them who you are and what makes you different from the crowd.

  8. I have seen many bloggers do this. They just tell people about what they do and just show their passion. Eventually, it rubs onto the audience without any form of promotion needed.

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