The traditional role of the salesforce has been to communicate the value of the product or service they are is selling. This was a valuable service when the salesperson was the prospect’s primary source of information.
Today, in the information age, the prospect is quite likely to know as much or more about what you’re selling than you do, and they certainly know more about your competition. Today’s buyers want to know what else you can do for them.
Today’s salespeople must not only communicate value, they must be prepared to create value. We must understand our prospect’s needs beyond the obvious and find ways to build on that knowledge.
A number of things happen when you create value for your prospect.
- Price, while still a factor, becomes less important.
- You build a relationship with your prospect that makes him less inclined to deal with your competitors.
- The prospect will actively look for ways to work with you.
Here are some of the non-product/service-related things you can do as a salesperson to bring value to your customers and prospects:
- Provide industry insights not readily available to your prospect.
- Use your experience or expertise to assist the prospect.
- Provide information or opportunities for the prospect to expand or broaden his business.
- Uncover problems that may have gone unnoticed by your prospect.
- Provide potential solutions to the prospect’s business problems.
- Uncover opportunities that may have gone unnoticed by your prospect.
- Offer to use your company’s resources to assist your prospect.
- Have a relationship based on shared values or interests.
- Provide generic resource material and information that would be of interest/value.
Notice that all of the value-added techniques listed above will cost you nothing except some time, energy, and creativity.
Many salespeople feel they are being of value when they hand deliver data sheets or product brochures. In this case you’re being of more value to the post office than to the prospect. The value added is when you provide unique information that can’t be readily obtained elsewhere.
Remember – with Value-Based Selling, its not what you sell, its how you sell.
SalesForce Training is North America’s premier sales training company, focusing on both salesforce.com training, support, and implementation, as well as soft skills training in all areas of tactical selling, strategic selling, territory management and coaching skills for sales managers.