Selling with Value
Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.
– Warren Buffett
And as a friend of mine said to me years ago when I was deciding which computer to purchase for my business
When you buy quality, you get value.
Now you might be thinking that this is a Motivational Monday blog given the quotes I’m starting with but it isn’t; I simply like quotes!
Those two above make the perfect case for why you should consider value when you sell to your customers. From their perspective it makes a normal purchase into a great purchase!
So let us look at three aspects of value when you are selling.
Give them more than they expect
This doesn’t have to be a physical item. Indeed I’m not a big fan of the word ‘free’ when it comes to sales. At least in terms of ‘free items’ or ‘free services’. You have to think like a commercial business person when you sell and giving stuff away isn’t the wisest of business decisions.
So what can you do instead? Well how about deliver times?
What can you do to make items arrive faster or to provide services faster? Can you extend longer after care times or spend longer with a client showing them how to use their new purchase than you would normally?
Or how about adding in some more knowledge and advice?
Take a recent example; a client of mine who is a recruiter won a retained contract with a client. Whilst preparing for the pitch we naturally did research on the prospect which included reviewing his LinkedIn profile and that of his colleagues.
There were a couple of minor errors on a few of the profiles so my client, after winning the business, took the time to email each of the individuals with errors on their profiles and pointed them out in a constructive manner. The purchasing contact was very appreciative.
The above recruiter has added value to his relationship with his client in a very simple way.
Keep in touch after the sale
It is the job of a sales person to sell things. That’s a fact. But it can be a rather cold fact sometimes especially if you have spent considerable time winning a sale only to then disappear over the horizon before the ink has dried on the contract!
Sales people tell me constantly that they never do this but I constantly catch them doing it!
Ensure that you speak with clients after the sale. Ask their opinion about the product or service. Genuinely show interest in their experiences and also their continued situations. Yes you might have account management teams but you were the one the client had the relationship with and it adds value if you show your face again after purchase!
Tell them when not to buy A.K.A. Give them proper advice
This can be a tough one for new sales people…actually it can be tough for all sales people! Sometimes the truth of the matter is that your top product is not the best solution for your clients. At times like that you add more value to the long-term relationship with the client if you tell them the truth and sell them a cheaper but better fitting solution or product.
By giving clients genuine real advice at this stage you have a much larger chance of cultivating that client into a long-term purchaser.
This can also happen when a sales person is trying to get a sale at an earlier time than the client wants or needs. Sometimes their time-scale is the one to work to.
The really hard decision is of course if none of your products or services truly fit what they want – the truth is that your clients will respect you a lot more if you make things clear. And also sometimes that prospect is just not right for you. Ideally that mismatch is identified early on but when it becomes clear then I think it should be admitted to.
Perhaps that’s one of those moments when you present the facts and let the client truly decide for themselves.
There are lots of ways of adding value during the sales process and I’ll return to this topic in future sales blogs. For now I’d suggest you consider which client you recently sold to and have you stayed in touch and added some value to the relationship?
Until next time; happy selling!