Leveraging Perceived Value For Sales Success

by | Feb 1, 2008 | Selling Value

In our earlier notes we showed that by understanding the differences between personality styles, our chance of building a strong relationship goes way up. By looking at key characteristics we can “type” our customer or co-worker’s style. We use colors as mnemonics to remember these distinct personality styles.

People buy only when they see value. In my book Don’t Just Stand There, Sell Something I mention, “If you can’t price your value, all you can price is your cost”. If a customer perceives your product or service merely as a cost, you have a slim chance of getting the sale. Even realizing this, one of the biggest errors sales professionals make is conveying the value of their products and services from their perspective – instead of the customer’s view of value. Each client has a different view of what value is to them, but there is remarkable similarity in what each personality “color” group values.

In our workshops we do an exercise asking the participants to rank in order: the top four reasons they would do business with a company like the one they represent. The exercise is done after sorting the teams into each of the four personality types – Blue, Gold, Green and Orange. This becomes a dramatic lesson for the team members. They discover; (1) each of the four groups ranks values differently and (2) each color type is consistent in what it values.

Cutting to the quick here is what each color type values – you can see the theme.

  • The Blue personality values relationships first and foremost. Taking into account how the solution will impact people and how it will be accepted is of primary importance.
  • The Gold personality values dedication, structure and dependability as most important. What the solution will do for the company and the return on investment is critical.
  • The Green personality values competence, efficiency and choosing the best technology. Greens value detail and evaluate all the alternatives.
  • The Orange personality values winning against the competition. Having a great solution that gives immediate benefits is important.

Whichever personality you are, don’t assume that your assessment of value is shared by everyone else. You need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and lead with their value. We need to learn what each of the four personalities value, and we must convey value from their perspective and not ours. For example, as an Orange I value price/performance, but if I lead with price/performance to a Gold, I might miss the mark. Golds might place higher emphasis on “return on investment”; price/performance, while important, is not going to fire them up about your product or service. We need to understand what is of most value to each of the personality types.

To summarize a key word for what each color values you can remember the four C’s:

  • Blues value “cooperation”,
  • Golds value “completion”,
  • Greens value “competence”
  • Oranges value “competition”.

It’s not a coincidence that naming my company “Competitive Excellence” conveyed my own Orange personality. Oranges believe in excellence in execution and so helping teach your company to ‘out play the competition and win the opportunity’ is my core value!

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