Posted in Sales Skills by Matt
February 3rd, 2012
Today’s newsletter is all about value, because that’s the hot topic right now. Our clients are having to protect their pricing against fierce and foolish competitors who are offering cheap (or even free) versions of their product.
The first thing that we tell our clients is that “cheap” is not “value”. Consider a cheap meat pie from a discount store. You take a bite, and throw the rest out, because the pastry is soggy and you detect a rather grisly amount of offal and fat.
While you bought it “cheaply”, for 25% of the price, you then throw 75% out. You may as well have paid full price for your “value” product and enjoyed it, right?
The answer to customers wanting “cheap” is Value Selling, which helps you to sell your product at a premium. For that reason, Value Selling is the most coveted craft in commercial business today. And contrary to some conventional wisdom, it is most certainly nothing to do with price.
Here are four considerations when Value Selling:
1. Make sure they get more than they paid.
This is really the Golden Rule of selling. GET more than PAID. These are the two dynamics in value selling – the perception of what you get, and the reality of what you pay. If you feel you get more than you pay, then you have a smile on your face. You have received great value. With that in mind, you then need to…
2. Build a value toolbox
Regularly we get the following feedback during our training: ”We have no way to offer extra value – it’s our price, and that’s it”. This is a bit like a teenager looking in a fridge and saying “there’s nothing to eat”. To which the parent says “yes there is, you just haven’t thought about it hard enough.”
Yes, value is often the obvious stuff – free steaknives, better delivery terms, a bit extra for the same price, two options instead of one, and most of the other value points that your competitors may also use. However peel back the layers of value for your real differentiators: your people, your approach, your attitude, your work ethic, your network, knowledge, facilities, responsiveness, experience, access to your resources…which leads me neatly on to on to point three…
3. Value means different things to different people
Value is not fixed. A classic example used in sales training is a glass of water. To a man dying in the dessert, it’s worth the price of life. To a man standing next to a tap, almost worthless. We all have a different definition of value, and it depends on the context of the customer. For example, we have a particular client at Natural Training who likes access to the Board – almost nothing else matters compared to some personal service from me or one of my co-Directors.
The key is to find out what value looks like to each person. You can ask directly, or you can notice how they come across, appear, and act in front of you. Pick up on the signs! And then you must influence their perception of value, which takes in point four…
4. Articulate value in a motivating way!
One of the main drivers to Value Selling is how you talk about your value. If you can talk about value in a more motivating way than your competition, then you have the deal.
So if you are going to spend time preparing your meeting, spend less time on your credentials (how good you are) and more time crafting your words to describe the value (how your value matches their needs) .
Words sell, and using linguistic techniques such as analogies, vivid descriptions, insights, comparisons, benefits, scenarios and stories will all help you to sell value.