Value depends on what your customer is trying to achieve. It’s our responsibility, as sales professionals, to discover what value means to each customer. One tried and true formula I have using for years is Value = Benefits – Costs. If you can’t price your value, all the customer will see is a cost and the lowest cost will win. If you’re looking for low cost, go to Amazon, but if you have complex needs, you’ll want to work with an expert sales professional.
Topic One: The difference between the sellers and customers perception of value.
The salesperson’s perspective on what they think the value is can vary greatly from what the customer perceives as value, which we call perceived or qualitative value. To provide your prospects and customers with value, you need to honestly answer this question, “Will my solution accomplish what the customer is trying to solve?”
Because qualitative value can be more subjective, you’ll also want to consider the intangible values you might provide that can make the difference when they decide to buy. Consider these ideas to get you started:
- Could they get a promotion with the help of your solution?
- Might they gain more peace of mind?
- Is it possible that your solution could lead to a raise or bonus?
To uncover perceived or intangible value, you must have already begun to build trust. Rarely will a client give up much personal information until they’ve known you a while and feel you can be trusted.
Topic Two: What is performance value, and why is it important?
The second type of value is what you as the salesperson delivers, and it’s known as “performance value.” This type of value can reduce or eliminate expenses, create incremental revenue, or raise performance, productivity, or market share. Performance value is the proof of your promise. It’s the objective and tangible evidence of what your product or service is known to deliver. You and your team will want to create your own list of the types of performance value you can deliver.
Topic Three: How do customer pain points relate to value?
People buy to meet a need, usually when the pain of inaction outweighs any hesitancy.
Identifying, then addressing their pain is one of the most effective ways to lead a sale to closing. Customers are more focused on solving a pain then looking for gain. It’s pain that moves them towards a solution. They’re more in tune with the word “losing” than “gaining or saving.” The old saying is, “I love to win, but I hate losing even more.” You’ll want to ask questions that turn an “Implicit Need” which is a statement of dissatisfaction, into an “Explicit Need”, which is a strong want or desire to change the present state.
Topic Four: The greatest value is found in the gap.
There is always a gap, that is the chasm between where the prospect is today and the future state where they desire to be. To navigate and position your solution to meet their needs, your solution must bridge that gap. The solution that fills that gap is the value you provide. To get there, ask deeper questions to uncover what’s most important to the customer. I like to say, “if you want better answers, ask better questions.” Customers respect salespeople that ask great questions. It builds respect and trust by developing stronger relationships which is what we all want for the long term.
Be proactive with your prospects and customers. Put their needs above your own. Be open with your thoughts and concerns about their needs. Deliver value above their expectations and you will never go wrong. When you show the customer that you’re putting their needs first, you win and become their trusted advisor. Great salespeople are curious about the customer’s situation and make their needs the priority. That’s what relationship selling is all about.