Sales professionals sometimes talk so much about value that it becomes meaningless. We toss it around like a buzzword instead of sincerely seeking to provide value. What is value, and how can you become better at using value more effectively?
Today on The Sales Evangelist, we’ll define value and discuss how you can make it work for you as a sales professional.
Value has both a noun and a verb form. When something is held to be worthy or important, it’s valuable. When we treat it as though it’s worthy or important, we’re valuing it.
Most sales professionals use the term value to refer to features or benefits. We discuss the features and benefits of our product or service and we connect the value to those aspects.
In many cases, though, the things we think are valuable aren’t the same things our customers value.
Sales professionals must avoid misalignment of value. We must understand what our prospects value before we can provide value to them.
Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People teaches that you must seek first to understand and then to be understood. Before I can expect a prospect to accept my phone calls and hear what I have to say, I must seek to understand his point of view.
How can I figure out what’s valuable?
Figure out the organization’s end goal. What is the organization trying to accomplish? What is the end result? What is the goal of the entity you’re trying to sell to?
If the end goal is to increase sales, to make money, to make great hires, or to find great talent, know the individual goal will help you provide value.
Sales professionals make themselves especially valuable when they become problem finders rather than just problem solvers.
When you help prospects identify needs they didn’t know they had, you become an extremely valuable member of the team. The book The Three Value Conversations calls them unconsidered needs.
Begin by asking current customers about benefits they have discovered since they started working with you. If they have discovered a way to use your product or service to help them solve a problem, other prospects may find the same benefits.
Read magazine articles and news articles to track new regulations that may present new challenges. If you can anticipate problems, you’ll become someone useful to your customers.
I continue recommending the book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley because it is a buyer-based blueprint that can help you increase sales. We’ve made a free excerpt available to listeners because we believe it’s a truly valuable resource.
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