Customer Experience News & Trends

3 common myths about adding value for customers

Value is a moving target. It’s anything a particular customer wants it to be at a given time. And the key to adding value is seeing it through a customer’s eyes and selling it that way.

Here are three common myths about adding value:

  1. Value only applies only to a product or service. What you’re selling is more than just the product or service itself — it’s a bundle that includes service, reliability and trust. The customer buys all three.
  2. Value relates only to combating price objections. Adding value is a good offensive tactic to combat any objections — and not just about price. When used effectively, value-added selling encourages prospects and customers to look beyond price.
  3. It’s too much extra work. While adding value may require additional effort, with practice and consistency, it becomes second nature. Those efforts pay off with higher profit margins, increased sales and better customer loyalty.

Guidelines for adding value

When it comes to adding value, here are some guidelines to remember:

  • Customers are more knowledgeable. The Internet, email and competition have made them more knowledgeable and their decision making more analytical. They base their purchasing decisions on the strengths of the company’s solutions to their needs.
  • Customers expect service that goes beyond on-time deliveries and good communication. Service now means becoming a valuable resource for the customer. If they don’t receive this level of service, they go elsewhere.
  • Customers expect salespeople to be a valuable resource for them. If your ideas only relate to what you’re selling, you’re not adding value. Value comes from making a continuing contribution to a customer’s success.
  • Customers look beyond immediate results. Long-term thinking is essential when trying to add value. Getting yourself to look down the road is a key to future success. Customers want to do business with companies that learn their business and come up with new ideas to help them in their business.

Trust is key

Trust is the key ingredient in value-added selling. Customers are bombarded with so much conflicting and contradictory product information, the element of trust is indispensable to establishing a business relationship.

Trust usually advances in small steps over time instead of in one giant step. These steps are usually the result of doing something of value for a customer beyond the sales transaction.

Five trust-building strategies:

  1. Invest the time necessary to understand your customer completely. Customers who feel understood usually trust more. By involving yourself more deeply in your customer’s business, you’ll also become indispensable.
  2. Be consistent. Earning trust is a time-consuming process that advances when you deliver value consistently over time. Customers accept value promises from salespeople they trust.
  3. Listen more, talk less. Talking does not build trust, but listening does. Customers trust companies that listen to what they have to say, especially when it comes to needs and expectations.
  4. Establish common ground and become more familiar to customers. Customers trust what is familiar to them. Establish common ground for dialogue when meeting with prospects or customers by bringing up a topic you know you have in common with the customer.
  5. Provide greater responsiveness to customer problems. Speed is a critical component of value with today’s customers. Saving customers time and providing the answers to problems are essential value-added elements.

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