In the movie "Jerry McGuire," Jerry showed that the care and focus on the customer is the main thing, but the mantra, "Show me the money" showed what care and focus on the customer eventually lead to; the ability to help a customer make more money with you than anyone else. And just as agent McGuire's only client had to prove to himself, how much more profitable it was to stay with McGuire, we have to enable our buyers to prove to their teammates how much more profitable it is to work with us.

Here are a few exercises that will help you to train your team on how to "show me the money" in competitive situations and thus win more business. Set your team up in groups of two or more and have them do the following:

Step 1-Choose an actual top prospect from their top 10 new customer prospect lists and scope out what the ideal sale would include. What would you sell (perhaps over the next year) and at what price. Preferably chose a potential where you will be up against competition.

Step 2-Brainstorm all of the possible advantages that you offer in product, service, etc., for your total solution set and list all of the possible benefits.

Step 3-If there is a potential for a competitor being involved, list all of the competitor's advantages, for example, they may have a lower price, be a larger company, have a current relationship, etc.

Step 4-List out any other areas of potential weaknesses that your company may have, especially if they may be made light of by the buyer or competition.

Step 5-Estimate the dollarized value the customer is likely to receive from each individual advantage/benefit on your list.

Step 6-Estimate the dollarized value in "negative" dollars, for each of your weaknesses and/or the competitor's advantages

Step 7-Total in separate columns the positive dollars you are able to deliver and the negative dollar total from your weaknesses and the competitor's advantages. Subtract the total negative dollars from the total positive dollars and show at the bottom line this total as the "Incremental Net ROI we can deliver."

Step 8-List one or two customers who would testify to the unique value that each of the above claims make. Ideally you would want to call these customers and get approval on a one sentence quote that will summarize the benefit and value of each of your advantages. Putting a phone number next to each name and quote is one of the most powerful tactics at giving your claims credibility. Some advantages may not need proof, but unsubstantiated claims can often be the reason for lost sales.

Step 9-Create a specific list of questions that will ask the prospect what is important to them in all of the differences that you've listed above and questions that will elicit how important each difference is, and what the value might be estimated to be for each difference.
Come back to a customer with a partnering plan that shows all of the above as well as how and when you will measure the actual impact to their business, which will differentiate you from the competition. Your next step is to walk through the differences and dollarizations and invite questions and objections. This is where you want to negotiate, vs. price.

If you can create a list of advantages that clearly nets out a greater ROI over the competitor and yet a competitor is able to win based on a soft, hard to dollarize value of the competition's (i.e., long-term relationship, implying lower risk) then that advantage of the competition has a higher dollar value than all the other net value that you've quantified, and that is the value of the competitor's difference. The point is that everything has a value, but where most lost sales should have been wins are lost is in the inability to quantify, show and prove the difference.