One of the important areas we focus on when coaching sales managers is helping them teach their salespeople how to sell “value”.
The importance of selling value is a concept that has been bandied about quite a bit in the context of selling, however, the vast majority of salespeople struggle to understand and apply the techniques necessary to build value in the mind of their prospect or buyer.
The first step is to get clear on the fact that the seller does not define value, the buyer does.
The problem starts when a company attempts to define value for their salespeople and then trains them to articulate value through the features and associated benefits of their products and services.
The problem with this approach is it creates “misalignment” between the rep and the buyer and as a result erodes credibility.
The salesperson shows up and launches on a feature dump in an attempt to impress the prospect and build interest. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the information the rep is providing is usually of little interest to the prospect and not relevant to their situation.
As a result of people having little to no patience, and a very short attention span, it’s imperative that we only present what we know to be of interest to the buyer. This creates and maintains alignment.
The key to selling value is to ask enough relevant questions to unveil the prospect’s compelling reason/s to buy.
This is the phase of the sales process where many salespeople miss the mark. Instead of teaching salespeople to how to pitch the features of products and services let’s teach them the intelligent business questions to ask. This is guaranteed to create involvement on the part of the prospect and alignment.
A common mistake made by salespeople is to assume they know what the prospect’s definition of value is without asking.
When that incorrect assumption is made the salesperson then focuses all of their questions and presentation highlights on incorrect information which prevents them from building the level of credibility and trust necessary to differentiate themselves and close sales.
This is a really important concept to understand because it changes the way your team should be selling: away from feature and price-focused discussions and toward linkage and expressions of value.
If you focus on what the prospect defines as “value”, the price becomes less and less important. If you neglect to focus on the prospect’s vision of value, they will default to price each and every time.
If you find your team putting too much emphasis on price, and discounting, here’s what we suspect is happening:
That’s not an exhaustive list, but you get the idea.
Now, for the good news: You can teach your team the principles, strategies and tactics inherent in selling value through proper training, coaching and role-playing. Often it’s not their fault; they don’t know what they don’t know.
If you would like to discuss these concepts in more detail please contact us via email or phone.
We’re here to help you get started on the process of consistently selling value.
Sales management expert Duane Cashin has lead award-winning sales organizations and trained sales teams for companies of all sizes. He’s earned membership in Presidents Club and Circle of Excellence, successfully built and sold his own multi-million-dollar business, and enjoys sharing his passion for sales.