The Opposite of Value Based Selling … The worst thing you could possibly do when meeting with a prospect is to just start "pitching”
Or, tell the client about everything they’ll miss out on if they don’t purchase your product or service.
(The purpose, of course, is to create so much pain that you manipulate your client into a sale. Which is a great way to totally eliminate any positive connection you have made.)
The next worst thing you could do is just start talking about all the features and benefits of your product or service.This approach assumes that if you can talk long enough, sooner or later you'll stumble onto something they are interested in. Like if you throw enough spaghetti on a wall and hope some will stick.
Really, do buyers have the time these days to sit through your "verbal diarrhoea" just waiting for a possible gem in amongst all the s..t?
As I’ve suggested before there is an easier and more accurate way to come up with a value proposition for the person in front of you and start some value based selling.
Let’s understand what a relevant value proposition is and what exactly is value based selling.
Value-based selling focuses on how the product or service will provide value to the customer.
The idea is to put the needs of the customer first and help them arrive at an informed decision that best suit their needs. A decision that adds value to them
So the value proposition you're selling has to be one that adds value to the individual person (or company) in front of you.
Is this value driven approach important ?
Well the following facts would suggest so …
In April 2020, Dimensional Research conducted a value management survey of 203 qualified individuals working at B2B SaaS companies with more than 50 sales reps in sales … over 90% of sellers say they struggle with value management.
In another survey …
92% of buyers say they want to hear a value proposition early in the sales cycle.
That would suggest both sellers and buyers think it's important.
Many of the sales blogs that write about value propositions and value based selling advocate doing your research to understand the customers needs before you meet them. You do this by looking at their current role, their common connections what content they share on social media and reviewing the company’s website.
Yes, all well and good, and you should do some research.
But even way back in the 1980’s Neil Rackham wrote in SPIN Selling that what you have to do During a sales meeting is uncover an Explicit Need and then look at the wider Implications and the Needs Payoff (for them).
By taking the time to learn about your prospect needs and wants and then explaining exactly how your product will help them, you can make your product stand out.
Want to know the questions?
The questions that will uncover the value proposition that your prospect want to hear.
The questions to ask are:
What do you want in a … ?
What are you after in a....?
Pretty simple, huh?
If the above questions do not fit your situation you could ask.
"What's important to you about XXX ?"
Using the information these questions uncover will allow you to “personalise” everything you say to your prospect so that what you offer will be meaningful to them.
It’s surprisingly simple but there are some subtleties.
In fact, there are 4 things that you need to do to make this process REALLY WORK.
I’ll cover one of them now but I’ll reveal the others to you later.
These steps form my Value Selling Framework.
When you get your answer to the question above you now have some words that are very important to your prospect.
You MUST use those EXACT words when you respond to them.
DO not change them at all.
Do not paraphrase what they have said.
You respond with something like ...
"Let's make sure I've got this right, you want ..."
And then repeat what they have told you.
So, if you ask ...
“What do you want in a supplier of X”
And your prospect says ...”reliability”
DO NOT respond with something like ... “you need a supplier you can trust”
"Trust" and "Reliability" may not mean the same thing to them and those words will likely not have the same emotion behind them (and we know people buy with emotion and justify with logic).
I know you may think of reliability and trust as the same but we are not trying to sell to you!
Please understand, it’s not just the concepts themselves...
... it’s the WORDS !
THEIR WORDS !
The words themselves hold a lot of emotion for the client due to a number of associations they have made throughout their life.
I know of salespeople who have concentrated on this information and tripled their sales.
I also know of one very successful sales trainer who spends 90% of his sales training on just this pattern.
So, you can start asking this question during the week and start gathering some of your prospect’s and customer’s answers.
Don’t try and use it to sell yet until I reveal the rest of the process and the subtleties.
I suggest starting with your smaller accounts because when I reveal to you the rest of the process you may want to use it immediately on your larger opportunities.