Who Determines the Value During a Sale?
A sales rep who was struggling to close a deal asked us recently, “Who Determines the Value During a Sale?” To most the answer is obvious. While you can definitely influence the outcome, your buyer determines what they value.
It Is About Your Customer
We have seen that most solution sellers have absorbed and put into practice the idea that value can trump price. But they often define value myopically…they interpret value from their own perspective and overlook value from the customer’s perspective. Many sales reps then try in vain to convince the customer of “the value” to justify a higher price.
What Top Performing Sellers Do
Top performing solution sellers use only the customer’s unique situation and needs to help define value in the eyes of the customer. They then use the customer-defined value to design a unique combination of performance and price to give the customer exactly what they want and need to succeed. The only definition of value (and success) that really matters in solution selling is value from the customer’s perspective…not the other way around.
How Performance and Price Intersect
When it comes to who determines the value during a sale, one way to think through value from the customer’s point of view is to ensure that your business sales training programs help sales reps understand where two needs intersect: performance and price.
Budget is often a primary consideration for the customer and is a function of overall resources available, priorities of the business, and available alternatives in the marketplace. Mission critical projects will take precedence. Smart sellers know just where their project fits in the customer’s larger business strategy, financial constraints, and competitive landscape.
A second consideration is performance.
Maybe the customer does not need to roll out the program to all employees – maybe a select audience is all they require. Perhaps speed is of the essence – or cutting edge technology – or proven quality. It is your job to figure out how to enhance your basic offering with only the features a customer needs and wants. Most often, a customized approach to their unique situation is what will differentiate your offering from the competition.
It Is Not About You or Your Stuff
In our experience, most salespeople do not invest enough time or energy understanding the unique needs of their client to design a customized solution that truly adds value to their buyer. High performing sellers deeply understand the unique journey each customer goes through before they buy. This understanding allows them to align their sales strategy to what matters most to their buyers.
Understanding the Customer Journey Provides Advantages
Sellers who deeply understand the customer buying process discover and add value at every stage of the buying cycle. For example, when the customer is beginning to shop, the best sellers are helping them to:
When they are ready to buy, smart consultative sellers:
And as the solution is being implemented, the smart value seller:
The Bottom Line
The solution seller who can redefine the concept of value as what really matters to the customer is the solution seller who determines the value during a sale. The more precisely your sales team can meet a customer’s known and unknown expectations, the more they will differentiate themselves as a trusted partner who truly wants the customer to succeed.
To learn more about who determines the value during a sale and how to negotiate value more effectively, download The 2 Most Common Sales Negotiation Tactics to Prepare For
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