Overcoming Apathy by Showing How You’re Different—And Why It Matters

See how frustrating, apathetic responses from prospects can be transformed into sales wins with differentiation.

November 15, 2016

  • overcoming-apathy

It’s a frustrating conundrum: no sales rep wants to waste their valuable time, which means that apathy from leads can be a more challenging response than a simple “no.”

Remember that the first step toward sharpening your sales messaging to is to ensure you’ve targeted the right buyers. From there, the challenge is getting prospects excited—but how? By differentiating your sales message and learning to sell yourself.

Target the Right Buyers

Whenever you’re looking to develop your sales message, it makes sense to begin with a hard look at your buyers. After all, you could have the most exciting, revolutionary sales pitch in the world, but it won’t mean anything to a lead who truly has no use for your product—or worse, one who doesn’t have the license to make purchasing decisions.

If you aren’t targeting the right buyers in the first place, you’ll always get apathetic responses—if not point-blank no’s. Fortunately, the reverse is also true: when you’ve targeted your buyers properly, your pitch will resonate, leading to better results. 

Begin by developing a crystal-clear idea of your ideal buyer. Consider every detail, from industry to region to the titles of decision makers. Then, use the tools at your disposal to track these buyers down. For example, consider leveraging your existing network by reaching out to prospects who actively participate in industry-focused online spaces, like LinkedIn Groups or trade publications.

Differentiate Your Sales Message

Always remember to place yourself in your prospect’s shoes. Chances are that they’re bombarded with similar pitches, and yours will only be effective if it stands out from the crowd. They’re likely wondering how your offering is different, what makes it superior to the competition, and whether they even need it in the first place. After all, if they can save money by not purchasing, they will—that’s business.

According to growth strategist Paul Castain, you can proof your pitch against apathy through three concrete aspects of your messaging: say it first, say it better, and say it exclusively.

Saying it exclusively is easiest: you point to the things that set your product or service apart from the competition. But that’s not all that you can do.

Saying it first means telling your prospects what’s great about your products or services that they may not realize—even if the competition can say the same.

Saying it better refers to using hard evidence, like case studies and testimonials, to support your claims. Though sometimes overlooked, each of these is a critical component of differentiation.

Sell Yourself to the Buyer

Many sales reps forget one of their most important differentiators: themselves. In many ways, the most appealing and exclusive difference that you can offer over the competition is your own value. Once you’ve remembered this, you can learn to use it as a sales tool.

Begin by building your professional brand, especially online—the first place your prospects will look. Then, practice social selling activities, such as gathering industry-relevant insights and sharing them with your network. Over time, you’ll effectively position yourself as an invaluable resource to your prospects—and that will encourage them to buy.

Here’s the key: if your prospects seem apathetic, it’s probably because they’re either the wrong buyer or you haven’t made your differentiators clear enough. Don’t be afraid to sell them features that others haven’t, or even to sell yourself through social media—ultimately, the right messaging will lead to more wins.

To learn more about using social selling to win deals and reach quotas, download The Sales Leader’s Checklist today.