1. Prospective Customers Are Not Looking for Your Products or Services
Prospective customers are not specifically on the lookout for your products or services. If, in their search for answers to their questions or issues you are fortunate enough to be engaged with them you should try to be on the same wavelength. And that perspective is how can you help them with insights, perspectives or solutions to their specific needs. In most cases, prospects believe that they know what they are looking for. The quickly become impatient with a good consultive discovery process and try to compress the discussion to get the information that they are after.
This makes it difficult to have a meaningful discussion where you can understand their situation so that you are able to customize a solution of real value for their consideration. The sales rep needs to be armed with an approach to reframe the prospects framework so that they can become a more trusted advisor and can more easily uncover the insights required to ultimately present a competitive solution.
Be patient. Respond to questions. Don’t talk about your solutions too early. Have specific challenges ready at hand and plan to introduce opportunities to access valuable assets, insights and knowledge. This will create the trust that is needed to uncover insights to be leveraged in a meaningful relationship sales engagement.
2. Customer Value Means Different Things to Different Customers
When you are selling a product, the basic utility of that product does not dramatically change from customer to customer. It may be customized with add-ons, but the basic functionality remains the same. The customer value that you can deliver, on the other hand, may vary dramatically from one situation to another. For one customer, the value may be in the immediate delivery of a solution to a pressing need; for another, the value may be its returns over the long-term. Still other customers will interpret value in other ways. In this sense, customer value is more important than the product because value can be customized as necessary wherever there is a potential fit.
3. Uncovering Customer Needs Lets You Align Customer
Value It is best practice to make every customer feel valued, but some customers may be more valuable than others – lifelong customers and customers who not only provide repeat business but high value referrals and references as well. Consider further that a product may be useful to almost any organization within a marketplace, but the true customer value behind the product may only support major sales for certain market segments. Understanding this allows targeted selling based on integral value points rather than product features and benefits, and leads to more high value sales from motivated prospects.
4. Customer Value Has a Timeframe that Creates Urgency
If a prospect looks at a product as a potential solution without understanding the product’s value, it is all too easy for that prospect to delay buying; after all, a product will still be there when he or she is ready to buy. Customer value, on the other hand, creates a sense of urgency that moves sales forward by creating timeframes for key benefits to the prospect such as increased efficiency, lower downtime, higher production, and many more value points that have well-defined monetary results. This allows sales people to close more sales faster while benefiting the customer.
5. Sales People Are Responsible for Building Customer Value
When a prospect looks at a product without the benefit of sales guidance, he or she will not be likely to pick out the customer value alone. Customer value is the result of a conversation between a sales person and a customer, wherein the sales person is able to determine the customer’s needs and goals and explain how a given product will create value by satisfying those requirements while generating benefits for the customer. Through a value-oriented sales person customer value can be customized and presented in ways that the product cannot, which leads to stronger sales relationships and more sales overall.