Selling Difference and Sameness

by Julian

To overcome the fear of change and the risks of changing as perceived by a customer, what if you highlighted not only how different you are so addressing their issues and problems, but also how you are similar to whatever they use at moment, taking those similarities they like and showing customer how you can improve on them even further.


They use a green needle at moment but ideally want a red one - we offer red - selling a difference to satisfy the need.

The needle they use at moment is sharp - this is important to them and they like sharp needles. We know ours are even sharper so we confirm we also do sharp needles - similarities, but can do even sharper - improve on similarities


Hi Julian,

the concept you talk about is basically covering both sides of a persons behavioural spectrum. Let me explain.

People have a time clock inside them that rings an alarm when change is needed for them. Some people never hear that alarm, some people hear it often. In the LAB profile they talk about Sameness people and Difference people.

What you are talking about is selling to both types of people which is a very valid strategy if you do not know how the person in front of you relates to change.

If you want to know how the person you are talking to relates to change you can ask a simple questions or (to be a bit cheeky) show them a little mental quiz.

The question to ask is, "What’s the relationship between what you’re doing this year and last year?"

The mind quiz is to line up 3 coins on their desk, all face up but with one turned 90 degrees from the other 2. And ask “ What is the relationship among these three coins?” ( If you were selling cars, you could use a picture of three almost identical cars.)

sameness people will say, "They are all the same",
difference people will tell you about all the differences
qualified sameness people will first tell you all that is the same then start sorting for differences
qualified difference will tell you what's different then start noticing what's the same.

These people with these patterns of response all have a different relationship to change AND all respond optimally to different language.

I cover the language to use with each pattern in my book " 7 Steps to Responsive Customers"

Hope this helps, Greg

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