By Terence Traut
Always, but especially during lean times, effective sales professionals know the importance of communicating value. Budgets – if they ever were discretionary – are tighter. Business customers are being asked to do more with less. Decisions are increasingly less on WHERE to spend the money and more on WHY we need to spend the money.
Value is the customer’s perception of your worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance with respect to them or their business. Value addresses the customer’s question, “What can this person or company do for me?”
Even spending time on the phone with you must return something of value to the customer. You must initially and continually earn the right to have the customer invest their time and money with you.
Position value by explicitly answering these questions throughout the sales cycle:
· How much? (What can the customer expect to gain by doing business with you in terms of increased sales, lower costs, etc.?)
· How soon? (When will the customer be able to receive the value? This is a critical question in today’s economy.)
· How sure? (Where is the proof that the customer will in fact attain the value stated? References and examples are critical.)
How would YOU answer these questions for each of your prospects or customers? If you don’t have the answers, expect resistance. If you do have answers and your solution is directly linked to your customer’s articulated needs, you will be successful even in these difficult times.
Successful reps tell their customers what the value to them is – customers shouldn’t have to work to figure it out themselves. If you don’t explicitly quantify the value your customer can expect to receive, and your competition may be doing this work for your customer, who is going to win the business?