I can’t think of anything that screams “commodity” louder than a pile of rocks.

Yet I know some talented salespeople who do very well selling rocks – or, as they call them, “aggregates.” And I guarantee you, these folks do NOT consider rocks a commodity.

As they’ve patiently explained to me, there’s more to rocks than meet the eye. Everything matters – how big they are, what they’re made of, which quarry they come from, what kind of cement you’re using to hold them together. With the right aggregates, you can build a highway that lasts 75 years. If you use the wrong rocks, you’re going to be patching potholes by next spring.

These salespeople don’t spend their time trying to figure out how to sell a ton of aggregates for a few cents less than the other suppliers. They’re gravel evangelists. They’re out in the field and on the road (usually roads that are still under construction) making sure everyone from the chief engineer down to the crew laying the pavement understand their products, how to use them, what makes them superior, and why it matters.

In sales, there’s no such thing as a commodity. There’s always something that differentiates your products and services from the rest: YOU. Your knowledge. Your insight. Your problem-solving skills. Your energy and enthusiasm. Don’t shortchange yourself by convincing yourself you’re just selling commodities.

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