If you’re giving your customers things that you value instead of focusing on things that your customer needs or wants, you should be aware of the 5 things you get wrong when it comes to building value.
We’re dedicating the month of April to a discussion of building value, and we’re starting with the fundamentals of building value.
1. We fail to solve the problem.
People will only change if they see a distinct need for it, and sometimes our customers don’t even recognize that they have a problem. Or, in other instances, they may have found a solution or a band-aid to the problem that seems to be working.
People don’t fix things that seem to be working.
Your job as a seller is to ask the right questions to help them consider or see the importance of addressing their challenge. Once you’re able to help them identify the problem, we must provide a clear solution to help them address it.
Donald Miller has a wonderful three-step process that lays out exactly how you can move through the process.
If the buyer doesn’t have confidence in your ability to guide him through the solution, you’re likely going to lose the deal like I did when it happened to me.
2. We focus on what we like.
I’ve taught this principle over and over again as the platinum rule: treat others the way they would like to be treated. It’s a step up from treating people the way that you’d like to be treated.
Don’t focus on features or benefits that you like. Focus on things that the buyers like.
Buyers may choose to work with you for a variety of reasons, but not all of your product’s features will be important to the buyer. Not all of your service’s benefits will matter to him.
Once you’ve identified the problem that the buyer needs to address, and you’ve given the buyer a clear plan, avoid the urge to give the buyer things he doesn’t need. Give him the things that are important and necessary for him and nothing more.
You may have 100 features, but the buyer likely has one problem that is costing him a lot of money. He needs the feature that will solve that problem. Yes, he’ll get much more than that with your product or service, but focus on his main problem to start.
Over time you can educate him about additional features.
3. We don’t listen to the customer.
This ties closely to number 1 because we often continue talking even after the buyer has agreed to buy.
Our conversations and discovery meetings are intended to help us discover things about our prospects. It’s not intended to be a lecture.
Sometimes sellers believe that if we’re talking, we’re winning, and that simply isn’t true. Think of it like dating: you want the other person to perceive that you’re interested.
Studies indicated that you shouldn’t talk more than 30 percent of the time, and that will only happen if you come prepared with meaningful questions. That will help the buyer express himself and his challenges.
Once you’ve listened, you can pitch to the one thing he needs the most.
4. We think we must have the lowest price.
This issue emerges frequently with sellers who think that value means having the lowest price, but it simply isn’t true. I’ve lost deals before to companies that were bigger and more expensive than my own product or service.
When I looked back, they didn’t care that we were cheaper. They were concerned that I didn’t focus on their problem and show them a clear path to solve it. They didn’t have the conviction that I was the one who could best help them.
If you’ve done a fantastic job of identifying their problem and you’ve helped them find a solution, they’ll see the value in what you’re offering. If, for example, their problem is costing them $50,000 a year but your solution will cost them $5,000 a year, that’s a good saving for them.
Show me that you understand my problem and that you have a solution. Then show me that you’ve solved this kind of problem before. That will give me, as a buyer, confidence in you as a seller.
5. We believe that more is better.
We often mistakenly believe that offering our customer more is better because it’s a way to increase value.
You might be giving away so many add-ons that your company loses money. In the future, your customer will likely expect the same kind of discounts and bonuses. If the customer stays with you for only a year, you will have lost the client before you could recoup your losses.
Resist the urge to give away everything for free. Enjoy the silence in your conversation. Don’t jump out and start talking too quickly.
They may not be looking for more value but rather just contemplating the purchase.
Keep things simple for your buyers and remember that less is often more. We know a lot more than our buyers about our product, and they don’t need to know everything that we do.
Avoid these mistakes and you’ll have much better success building value.
“Building Value” episode resources
You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.
You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.
If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.
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