So often we hear people talk about Value but sometimes i think we forget a couple of things regarding the concept of value and how it works.
1 – Value Is Subjective
The subjective theory of value says trades between individuals or organisations imply that both parties subjectively perceive the product, service or expected returns as being of an equal or greater value to the money they give away to acquire them.
In simpler terms, it’s the idea that the value of a product or service is not universal; rather it’s worth more to different individuals based on how much they need your product or how much they need to solve a problem.
Let’s look at a couple of examples:
Personally, I wouldn’t pay you £5 for a bottle of water. If it was really hot, I was really thirsty and it was the only refreshment within 10 miles, I’m sure I’d be more inclined to do so. The value of the water you sell is subjective to my situation.
If you sell ERP software, integrated applications that make centrally managing, collecting and analysing business data easier, is likely to be a key factor for organisations who have experienced issues with poorly integrated, resource intensive solutions in the past, or have headaches with systems that simply won’t talk to each other.
For that particular company and the operators of their various clunky systems, a seamless solution where you can see and manipulate all of your business data on one central platform is likely to be very appealing and subsequently regarded as highly valuable.
For another company though, one that doesn’t have the same challenges because this is their first purchase of this type of product, the integrated aspect is less of a solution to them but probably more of an expectation in this present day. As a result you’d generally expect them to place higher value on other different, perhaps more specific criteria.
The point is that without a thorough understanding of your customers situation, through a proper Needs Analysis, Fact Find, or whatever you’d like to call it, you’re unlikely to nail it and get every part of your pitch to hit home with your Prospect.
2 – Perceptions Of Value Are Subject To Your Influence
Perceptions are the ways we organise, identify, and interpret information in order understand situations and environments. Like everyone else, your customers perceptions are also subject to influence that isn’t beyond your control.
Only the needs, desires and outcomes that your Prospects regard as being high in importance will increase their perception of value. Anything they regard as being lower in importance is a lot less likely to influence their buying decisions at all. So you want to identify pretty quickly what they are and avoid them.
It’s not what you think you’re selling that’s important, it’s what the customer thinks they’re buying that really matters.
Think carefully about your next new business meeting. If you’ve played it right your prospect will have told you, or certainly indicated, what these areas of high importance are. Ask and listen. Don’t launch in with a presentation if you don’t know what you should be addressing yet. Focus your attention around the most important factors.
Discovering The Most Important Factors
The art of being a great conversationalist lies in speaking far less than the other person, or people you’re engaging with. Asking great questions and showing a genuine interest in their answers above any interests or agenda of you own, are fundamental principals of influencing others and getting the desired outcomes from your sales activities.
People don’t buy from us because they think it’s a good decision, they buy from us because it feels like a good decision. There’s a considerable difference there. If something feels good, you inherently think less about doing it. If you really can’t uncover a Prospects most important factors, or compelling reason(s) to act, you have to consider their readiness to buy or invest.
As a Sales Professional that means TRUST is fundamental to your success.
Objective, honest, genuinely interested, humble, disarming…. These are all words I’d associate with trust and coincidentally these are all good behaviours for sales people.
The recipe for successful customer acquisition:
Your approach should seamlessly blend Effective Qualification with a Relationship Centric approach to providing customers with Subjective Value Based Propositions.
If you need help optimising your sales processes or systematising your sales function, feel free to ask us a question.
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