Nobody knows its customers like Apple knows its customers, and nobody exploits their position of strength better. The reason this is so impressive in today’s day and age? Apple’s customer base at this point is just about the entire world.

It’s been 10 years since Apple’s revolutionary iPhone first hit the market, and since then there have been 18 different models that made Apple a stunning $700 billion in sales. In one decade. It’s hard to wrap your mind around that sort of success. That’s why last week’s rollout of the iPhone X, both the 10th major release of the phone and a celebration of its 10th anniversary, had such global impact. It was a big, big deal that’ll end up pushing billions of dollars in revenue for the ninth-richest company in the world.

As expected, iPhone fanatics lined up outside Apple stores across the globe late last week before the phone’s November 3 release. As they always do, people brought tents, sleeping bags and some even brought along changes of clothes to wait out the store’s opening. All for a piece of technology that costs about as much as two months’ worth of groceries.

The phone is Apple’s most expensive ever at around $1,000, and yet it almost immediately sold out in more than 20 major American citiesincluding all four of Texas’ major metros: DFW, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. On one hand, we know the logistics of why people were practically climbing over their grandmothers to get at the phone. It has new face scan technology, a bigger screen, a faster processor, more memory. It’s a major upgrade for sure.

But there’s a deeper psychological pull at work here, and to let you in on what it is, I want to talk about The 7 Steps to Starting Strong.

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Our FPG 7 Steps program is one we’re currently teaching clients on how to get their sales process started with a bang. It’s a hugely successful method we put together that ramps up sales and helps sales pros gain immediate rapport with their potential buyers. The gains we’ve seen in our clients’ conversion rates who use the 7 Steps process is believably unbelievable.

For my money, though, the first step is the most important. Before you do anything else, you have to determine your position of strength.

Your position of strength is basically what attracted the customer to you in the first place and what sets you apart from everyone else. It’s your launch pad to the rest of the sale, and nothing else moves without it. We teach our clients to use a triple bind question to get the customer to admit their attraction to your product, whether that’s a home you’re selling or a mortgage or industrial goods. For the triple bind, you ask a close-ended question – customers are attracted to us because of these three things; which is most important to you? – to help them see your value over a competitor.

Every successful brand has a position of strength with their customers in some way. People buy Yeti coolers because they’re more durable and have better insulation than their competitors. People come to FPG because we provide more relevancy and intimacy for our clients than any other training company.

And people buy out entire stores of iPhone X’s despite its hefty price tag because Apple’s position of strength is innovation that creates brand loyalty. It doesn’t matter that the iPhone X doesn’t move the innovation needle as much as the original iPhone did. And it definitely doesn’t matter that other phone brands have caught up in the technology department. As long as Apple is continuing to create new and interesting things, its customers will be dying to get ahold of its next release.

That’s the punching power of position of strength.

Not everyone’s position of strength will be innovation. For some, it could be back-bending customer service. For others, it could be unique craftsmanship. But whatever that position of strength, we have to find it, and find it quickly. Because without it, we can’t understand our customer’s wants and we can’t explain to them why your product will make their lives better.

Take Chick-Fil-A. Its position of strength is its well-oiled process. I recently stopped in a Chick-Fil-A drive-thru and the line of cars backed up out of the parking lot. And yet they had employees walk out 20 cars deep to take orders while you waited so the food was ready – with a smile – the second you reached the window. Chick-Fil-A’s food is good, of course, but the reason they outsell their competition despite not even being open on Sundays is its procedurally-based system. It’s never a bad experience and leaves you wanting more.

There is nothing more important in the sales process than finding your position of strength with a potential customer. It’s the first thing you should do, and as Apple proved again last week, when you have it you’ll have a devoted customer for life.

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