The new meaning of value is not just dollars and cents…
Value – Seems like an overused word in sales. Value is in the eye of the beholder, people say, and for most salespeople, articulating value can be challenging. Value is something that most salespeople spend a lot of time talking about, but that few emphasize as strongly as they could. Our experience shows that this is where top sales performers excel. They aggressively study what value means to their clients, how to establish it, and why it can be different in every situation.
The common way to think of value in sales is by considering solutions from a “dollars and cents” point of view. Most sales producers are taught to “show them the money,” whether that lies in decreased production costs, a bigger potential for earnings, more reliability, or some other area. The underlying reasoning is obvious: Show customers that they can come out ahead financially by buying from you, and it should be an easy decision… shouldn’t it?
That’s certainly not a bad place to start. Top salespeople go further. For one thing, they know that two solutions can be similar – your product or service might save a customer money, but so does your competitor’s. More than that, however, they understand that there are other qualities in your solution that generate value.
Your buyers might not be swayed by bottom-line facts, but perhaps they are impressed by service, product performance and reliability, or even the image that comes with a top name brand. Better, cheaper, and faster can be great measures of value, but it’s important to remember that the real worth of any product or service is in the how the product or service impacts the customer professionally and personally.
One good way to cultivate a value mindset is by continually asking yourself, “So what?” As you articulate the features or benefits of your product or service, why should the customer care? Remember that we don’t just mean any buyer, but the customer that’s right in front of you.
To help customers think of value in a new way, get used to answering the “So what” question. Additionally, consider the time component to a purchase. Part of understanding value is knowing what it represents right now. That is, have some strong reasons to help the customer to take action at this moment, rather than at some unspecified point in the future. The more reasons you can give customers to move forward and create change in the present, the more value you are providing them with.
Is your selling mindset as focused on value for your customers as it could be?
Start looking for opportunities to show them more of what you do and provide today. Think about it.
Carlos Quintero, founder of Sales Effectiveness, coaches senior executives who want to drive change with their sales teams. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 770-552-6612.