On this episode, Paul shares ways to help you define value as the customer sees it.
“Get a broad understanding of their needs.” (Talk to everyone!)
“Understand the company’s overall ….“
“You need to make sure that your value proposition aligns with ….”
Do your buyers understand the tangible results gained when they experience your solution?
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How do I define value in the customer’s terms?
(Transcribed from podcast)
I hope your new year is starting off on the right foot. We’re going to jump right into it with some great content for you today. Recently, I was working with a sales team and we were going through an exercise to basically align the solution with the customer’s definition of value. And one of the salespeople had a great question. They said, “You know, Paul. How do you actually define value in the customer’s terms?” So that’s what we’re going to focus on on today’s episode.
Before we get into that question, a quick shout-out to Andrea over at The Creative Impostor Studios. You know, the new year is a time for resolutions and to try new things, and to jump outside of your comfort zone. Hey, for you, maybe that means starting a podcast. If you’re interested in starting a podcast, reach out to Andrea and her team. They do a wonderful job. They’re here to help support you, to launch it and to keep it going. So, reach out to Andrea and her team. She is here for you. We’re going to have a link to her website on this episode’s webpage.
Also, if 2021 is going to be your best sales year ever, then you need to invest in your craft. That means studying, preparing, planning, reading. So, pick up your copy of Value-Added Selling. It’s available on Amazon or wherever you get your books. Check it out.
Let’s get back into that question. How do you define value in your customer’s terms?
There are three things you need to do. First thing you need to do is get a broad understanding of their needs. First and foremost, that’s what we have to do. Now, for many of my listeners, you’re selling to a broad group, and I mean a group with multiple decision-makers. You have different influencers, high-level decision-makers, procurement people. Our research shows that there’s going to be about five or six different people involved in a business-to-business type of sale. You have to meet with each of those decision-makers, understand how they define value by understanding what’s important to them. What are their needs? So, you’ve got to go up and down the organization; talk to everyone from the end-user to the owner of the company, if you can, and you just want to understand what their needs are. Once you have a clear understanding of their needs, it’s going to be easier for you to define value in their terms.
Let’s move on to number two. The second thing we need to do is understand where this company is headed. What are their overall goals? What are they trying to accomplish? Is it to grow? Is it to achieve higher profits? Is it to gain more market shares, to launch new products? Is it to become more innovative? Think about what your customer is really trying to accomplish.
Once you have a deeper sense of what they’re trying to accomplish, the next step is obviously going to be, show them how your solution can help them achieve what they’re trying to accomplish.
So far, number one—we’ve got to get a broad understanding of the buyer’s needs and that means up and down the organization. Also, we have to get a sense of what the company is trying to accomplish. What are their goals? What are their objectives?
Now, let’s move on to the third step here. Once you have a broad understanding of the buyer’s needs, once you understand their overall company goals, the next thing is to align your value proposition with the customer’s definition of value. Now, a value proposition, remember, it’s just a statement of the tangible results that buyers gain when they experience your solution. You need to make sure that that statement aligns with how the customer actually defines value.
To this point, we’ve already determined how they define value. How they define value is basically a summary of what they need and what they’re trying to achieve. That’s all it is. It’s pretty straightforward and pretty simple. You need to make sure that your value proposition, which is your statement of the tangible results that buyers gain, aligns with how they define value.
For example, let’s say in speaking with a customer, let’s say their greatest need is stability. Let’s say that recently, some of their previous providers have been unreliable. Their solution didn’t perform what they thought it was going to perform at. It just was not a stable, predictable solution. So, this customer needs stability. They need that stability to help them achieve their overall results.
Our value proposition has to emphasize the stability of our solution, right? For example, “When you partner with us and experience our stable solution, we’re going to help you achieve those outcomes. And here’s how we’re going to do that.” And then you fill in the blanks on how you’re going to actually do it.
The next step, detail how you’re actually going to do it. Once you explain to the buyer how you’re going to do it, then you need to support your claims with some proof. For example, if your buyer, again, is focused on stability, that’s what really matters to them. Then put together some testimonials that highlight the stability of your solution. Emphasize the longevity of your company within your industry. Emphasize other market leaders that have started using your product and demonstrate just how stable that solution is. Again, all of your messaging and your content, it should focus on stability because that is how this particular customer defines value.
So again, that’s the key three things. Number one: get a broad understanding of the buyer’s needs. Number two: understand where the company is going. What are their objectives? And then third: you need to align your value proposition with that customer’s definition of value.
Make it a big day.