This blog will look at how salespeople communicate value to their customers. It will explore the definition of value as a means of tweaking the mindset when engaging with customers to help produce more consistent results. Are you ready?
I want to spend a little bit of time unraveling value because without value it is really really hard to create a sustainable business. Let’s really get to the bones and get comfortable with value so that it is just something that we can subconsciously deliver when we are talking to anybody.
How do we define value? In the context of sales, a customer attains value when they consider a product or service important or beneficial enough to be worth spending money, time or resources on to deliver or reach a particular outcome.
With the above definition in mind, every interaction that takes place with a customer should have the underlying objective of delivering value or a feeling of increase. There are a few things that can help with the delivery of value;
- Be credible in order to be believable. Show evidence that you know what you are talking about and you know what you are doing.
- Be emotional. No, there is no need to cry but humans make decisions based on emotions and rationalise them with logic. Illustrating passion when interacting with a customer will take you far.
- Be genuine. If you do not believe in what you are selling you will struggle to communicate the value that you are trying to put across.
- Listen to learn. Keep a pulse on what is happening in the market and be able to make good references outside of the customer you are talking with and your own business.
Here is an example of a cold interaction that did not end with an appointment being booked.
“Thank you CRM Director for sharing some context on your current situation. As you suggested, I will follow up with you in the near future. Just before I go, I found an article on 101 CRM hacks that will make it easier for your business to input information.’ Are you happy for me to send you the link across?”
Even though an appointment was not booked they have created a mutually beneficial exchange. The prospect has given their time and they have given the prospect something tangible and also planted a seed for a reference point that is not just a brochure about their business. By going into an interaction with an objective to be customer oriented you begin to change the style of how you deliver information. Let’s take it a little deeper.
As explained above, value is when you consider a product or service to be important or beneficial enough that it is worth spending money, time or resources on. That is quite a broad definition but there are key terms within this that reveal another methodology that we can use to improve how we communicate value.
To consider something is to really think carefully about it. It is usually thinking about something before making a decision. It happens at a subjective level even though there might be some facts that may underpin that decision-making. For something to be important, it needs to be of significance and bring one to a greater place over and above where they are now. For something to have worth, there is an assessment of effort versus reward and it is looking at things both subjectively and objectively. Whatever it is that you are offering – its worth is based on the effort that your customer needs to put in to activate it versus the reward that they are going to get.
In a typical sales process, there are 7-10 stakeholders involved in making a decision. That is 7-10 individual subjective thought patterns that are mostly based on internal drivers. It is your job to work with stakeholders to piece together each value map. There will be overlaps, consistent themes and anomalies. When these maps are combined, you have the best chance of communicating real value.
Let's put this all together below:
When you are trying to communicate value it is helpful to identify if a problem/challenge or opportunity is important enough for your prospect to consider it to be worth addressing. These three value components should be clarified at the business and personal level. Without thoroughly uncovering what value is, it will be difficult to communicate it. You need to do enough discovery work to identify what may be important. Engage your customer success team to truly understand if it will be worth it for a particular customer. For example, for some industries activating worth might involve too much heavy lifting on both ends. Importance will help you validate if something can be considered or explored by a customer and help you re-route your efforts to more promising opportunities.
Try the 3-value component methodology in your next few sales meetings and calls and see how it shapes your discussion.