Customer Experience News & Trends

Ways to match your value to customer needs

In a typical sales presentation, 80% of the time is devoted to describing the salesperson’s exceptional company and the positive benefits the customer will get from the product or service being sold. There are some fundamental reasons why prospects won’t buy after listening to this type of presentation.

Those reasons are:

  1. Prospects don’t believe they have a problem or don’t consider it serious enough to take immediate action.
  2. Prospects know they have a problem and want to take action, but they don’t have confidence in the proposed solution.
  3. Prospects don’t have enough incentive to make the change.

Understanding what your prospects need, discovering what they want and helping them avoid making the wrong decisions will increase your value to them. Salespeople who sell to the prospect’s needs and wants are three times more likely to close the sale than those who simply recite the value of their products or services.

When solutions are confusing

The solutions you sell may be more confusing to prospects than the problems they solve. So ask yourself if the prospect has purchased a similar product or service before, and whether he or she can connect the value inherent in your solution to their situation?

You can’t count on prospects to recognize on their own the value you bring to the table, to calculate what it’s worth, or accurately determine if they should pay its price. The customer is the judge and jury in the sale, but you’re the guide.

If you can define value in stages that enable your customers to understand that value is absent and build confidence in their ability to acquire that value for themselves, you may compel them to take action.

When the consequences of the absence of value are identified, you have reached the value required plateau. This is where the prospect’s value requirements are confirmed and their incentive to change is established.

When a value translation is done properly, the pieces of the prospect’s puzzle come together and you get the credit. They understand how your offering relates to their world and can evaluate its worth.

Top sales professionals bring clarity to their prospects’ decision-making process. They know how to translate their company’s value proposition into a value lifecycle that’s customized for each prospect.

Start by listing the five most compelling value capabilities of your product/service. Then ask yourself how prospects will be able to benefit from the value you provide.

Next, list your customers’ biggest value requirements. You can uncover customers’ value requirements by asking them how they’d use your product or services and what they were experiencing prior to using your solution. What costs will your solution enable them to eliminate? What revenues are customers not receiving that they’ll earn by purchasing your product or service?

Now you can start trying to align the value you provide with prospects’ requirements.

Three levels of value

You may be able to deliver value at three levels:

  1. Product level. You talk with customers about features, benefits, quality and price.
  2. Process level. You talk about how your product or service will enhance the customer’s business processes, such as reducing overtime.
  3. Performance level. You discuss the impact of your product or service on the customer’s business results.

Adapted from the book “Exceptional Selling,” by Jeff Thull, strategist and advisor for executive teams worldwide. As president and CEO of Prime Resource Group he has worked with companies such as Shell Global Solutions, 3M, Microsoft, Siemens, Citicorp, IBM and Raymond James. He is a leader in the area of sales and marketing strategies.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.