Being more valuable goes well beyond price
Selling on price will kill your company. Maybe not right away but surely in the long run. If customers come to you to shop price and you acquiesce you are on the road to being a commodity.
Ask the printing industry about the demise they experienced over the last 10-15 years. Once they were a proud partner and provider to companies and organizations seeking creative. quality, high-end printed materials with very attentive service levels. As the marketplace changed the printers allowed themselves to compete on price in order to keep their machines running at capacity. It turned out to be a grave mistake. It was the beginning of the end of so many smaller shops.
As prices dropped so did volumes. Eventually, the larger printers swallowed up their smaller brethren as a means of survival. That has been further exacerbated with the VistaPrints, FedEx, UI’S and a myriad of other online providers. Printing is now like jelly beans, the bigger the bag the cheaper they are.
So how can other industries avoid the same fate? One word: Value.
Value selling is not order taking. It is being able to convey to the prospect why working with you and your company creates a clearer value proposition for them.
How many layers of expertise are brought to bear on the client’s assignments? What added-on services are part and parcel of your
offerings? What enhancement do you offer that will increase the result or return? How did you create success for other clients? Can you point to case studies that highlight your involvement in the process that lead to great results?
Free this or discounted that are losers on the perception scale. They diminish the value you are trying to convey. If you believe so little in your offerings that you have to give them away or severely discount them to make a sale you need to reevaluate. Are you a commodity seller or are you a value seller. It is your choice, of course, just be prepared for the results.
Value selling may require a revamping of your sales process. Sales personnel are often prone to close at the lowest possible number just to get on the sheet. You will need to make a clear and strong argument as to why they are doing themselves and the company a disservice. In the long run they, as value sellers, will experience higher dollar sales and therefore better commissions. As commodity sellers they will be chasing the low hanging fruit and will forego the opportunities to provide real value and additional services to their clients.
Making the sales process one of collaboration with the prospect allows value to be built in from the beginning of the opportunity. It may take a bit more time and cultivation to move to the value side of things but it will surely be a differentiator.
Talking to prospects about hoped for results and offering solutions makes you an expert. Offering alternative solutions or different approaches gains a degree of appreciation for your assistance, even before the sale is concluded.
Know what you are selling and how to present it. Air Conditioning companies are not selling air conditioners they are selling comfort in the home and office. Drug companies don’t sell medicine, they sell relief. One of the best examples of value selling comes from Viagra. They are not selling increased function; they are selling self-esteem. Do you see the difference? The condition, symptom or pain point is the commodity. The results are the value.
It may take you awhile to figure out how to present the value of your company but once you do, and you stick to it, you will be in a much stronger long-term business.