In light of all that is happening today, I am writing a series of blogs on MINDSETS. As sales professionals we recognize the impact of Mindsets when we plan our days, when we consult with customers, and when we provide value. In sales, mindsets are essential, as they signify how top professionals THINK – how they approach their work with customers…. how they “see” things. It is the inner game that is so critical to the impact and results we generate.
This series highlights short messages on the mindsets our research has uncovered are essential in sales. And today's focus is having a VALUE mindset!
Value - the tangible or intangible worth of a good or service; the relative monetary worth, utility, or importance of something.
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 most salespeople spend a lot of time talking about, but few emphasize as strongly as they could. In every case, the best salespeople know that for value to exist, they must be fully aligned to the customer. That is their primary intention. It is not about their company, or about them, or about their company’s accomplishments or resources.
It is about the customer and about what value means to them. Top sales professionals aggressively study what value means to their clients, and especially recognize why it can be different in every situation.
To develop a value mindset, top salespeople look at five drivers of Value:
In all cases, top salespeople use the combination of these drivers to define and articulate the “compelling reason to act.” They work especially hard on demonstrating value from a “dollars and cents” point of view. By being able to “show-them-the-money” they convert both tangible and intangible ideas to financial equivalents, which are always identified with value.
Here are some examples:
David Anderson, a sales professional with a high degree of business acumen, puts together a pro-forma worksheet with every proposal that outlines what the customer can expect from the solution being offered and the anticipated results they will generate.
Faster, better, and cheaper may be great measures of value for some, but it's important to remember that the real worth of any product or service is in how the product or service impacts the customer professionally and personally.
Top people excel in being able to convert what would otherwise be intangible benefits to tangible ones. They have learned how to build a business case for each of their offerings, and they work on being able to make that business case every day.
Steve Brenham, a Sales VP for a major distributor, challenges his team to be a part of the customer’s world completely. His best salespeople “burrow deeply in order to get a variety of data points from different people. It is those data points that allow them to identify where one can provide value.”
Many salespeople help customers think of value in a new way by answering the “So What” question. They ask themselves “Why should the customer purchase?” Clearly, they put themselves in the customer’s shoes.
Is your selling mindset as focused on value for your customers as it could be?
If not, think through the five drivers of value listed earlier. For each driver, identify how your product or service specifically aligns with each value. You will be surprised at the impact that alone will have.