In this episode, Paul shares four ideas to sell the value of your company.
“I’m selling the same product as everyone else.”
If you’re just selling a product, you open the door to too much competition—you’re selling a bundled package.
Your value-added is already baked into that solution. You cannot remove the value, just like you can’t remove the ingredients once they’re baked.
Conduct a value audit and identify all the ways your company brings value. Talk to everyone and determine how they bring value to the customer experience.
Finally, challenge the buyer to think differently. Shift their focus from the product to the company.
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How do I sell my company’s value added?
(Transcribed from podcast)
On today’s episode, we have a question that came from the website. This question is from Jim. Jim is selling in industrial distribution. He’s selling as a distributor, which means he’s selling a lot of the same products as many of his competitors are selling.
Here is Jim’s question. He wants to know how he can sell the value of his company: not the product, not him as the salesperson, not the inventory, all that good stuff. He wants to know how he can sell the value of his company. Great question. And we are going to dive deep into that question here on today’s show.
Before we get into that, though, a quick shout-out to our sponsor, Andrea over at The Creative Impostor Studios. Again, all things podcast, Andrea is an absolute wiz. She and her team will take care of you. They’re going to guide you. They’re going to hold your hand. They’re going to slap your hand, too, if you need your hand slapped, because they’re going to help you be successful. That’s what they do. So check them out. We’re going to have a link to her website on this episode’s webpage. Schedule a free consultation. Podcasting is the way to connect with your audience. So reach out to her. Check it out.
Also Value-Added Selling is available on Amazon or wherever you get your books. In the book, we talk about the three dimensions of value, and we’re going to dive deeper into that in today’s episode. A lot of the content that we’re going to discuss in these ideas, we go into much more depth in the book. So check it out. It’s available on Amazon or wherever you get your books.
Back to that question: How do I sell the value of my company? Well, you’ve probably heard this one before, or you’ve thought this, “Man, I’m selling the same thing as everyone else.” If you’re a salesperson and you’ve caught yourself saying that, “I sell the same thing as everyone else,” you’ve got to remember, anytime you say, I’m selling the same thing as everyone else, you’re commoditizing your solution. It’s a commoditized type of mindset.
You need to rid yourself of that negativity and remind yourself that product might be similar to other companies. It might do the same exact thing, but when you take the same product and you bundle it with your company’s value-added extra, it becomes a whole different solution altogether.
So, let’s dive into this. Selling your company value added. We’re going to give you four ideas, four things to think about as you’re going out there and selling your company’s value added. The first thing you’ve got to remember, you’re selling more than just a product or service. When you just sell a product or a service, you open the door to too much competition. So, in your mind, in your heart of hearts, if you believe that you’re just selling a product and you don’t really believe in your company’s value added, you don’t believe in the value that you bring as a salesperson, you’re basically a commoditized salesperson that’s going to sell on price. You truly have to believe that you’re selling more than just a product. And what you’re really selling is a bundled package. You’re selling a bundled package.
That bundled package includes three things. It includes the product (yeah, that’s part of it), the company, and then you, as the salesperson. Collectively, we call that the three dimensions of value. So keep that in mind. You’re selling something bigger than just a product.
Second thing you have to keep in mind. The second tip, if you will, for today’s episode, remember that your company’s value-added extras are already baked in to your total solution. And when I say that they’re baked in, I use that phrase intentionally. Think about baking something like a cake or pancakes, or whatever it is that you’re baking. (Muffins, sound good. Muffins, right? I’m getting kind of hungry, actually. I probably should have had a snack before this episode.) But either way, your value added is baked in to your solution already. So, each of those ingredients, you know, the eggs, the flour, the sugar, all that good stuff, that’s like a value-added extra that you company offers. Once all of those ingredients are baked in to that cake, you can’t un-bake them. They’re already in there. The customer gets to experience them, whether they want to pay for them or not. So, it’s baked in to that solution.
I’ll give you an example of this. Let’s say, with this industrial distributor that they’re selling for, let’s say that that company has been around for a hundred years, and they have a hundred-year history and track record of serving their customers; of bailing their customers out; of helping them. All of that is baked in to the solution already. That expertise, the commitment, the company’s culture, all of that is baked in already. Maybe it’s not easy to see it, just like you can’t easily see the ingredients once they’re baked in, but it is certainly there. So, remember that it’s baked in there. You can’t remove it.
By the way, that goes for your personal value that you bring as a salesperson. If you’re a salesperson and you’ve got ten years of experience selling in the industry that you’re currently selling, you have a lot of knowledgeable expertise. That knowledgeable expertise is baked in to the solution that you’re providing that customer. So remember that phrase, baked in because that’s what your value added is, it’s baked in.
Number three. You need to understand your company’s value added if you’re going to go out there and sell it. What I would recommend is conducting a value audit. That’s your third tip: conduct a value audit. A value audit is like when the IRS will audit your finances, they’re going to look for all of those missed tax payments. They’re going to dive deep into your finances. They’re going to try to find the hidden money that you owe them. Well, we can audit our company with the same sort of intensity, not to look at missed tax payments, but to look at value added that we bring to the table. That’s the goal with a value audit. You’re trying to find some of the hidden ways that you bring value that, maybe, you don’t advertise on the company website.
And so, what I would recommend as a salesperson is, go to other departments within your organization. If you’ve got an engineering department or a technical support department, or even operations, management, estimating, whatever it is, go to all of the departments that are part of the sales process, and ask individuals in the department how they bring value to the customer experience. Come up with a list. Come up with a long list. I mean, get as much as you can on paper and then review that list. Share it with some of your sales colleagues. Talk to your manager about it and say, “Okay. Of all these value-added extras that we offer, how much of this really matters to the customer?” Go through the list and look for all the ways that you bring value. And once you come up with a condensed list, now you know how to start going out there and promoting that value added. But remember, every time you promote your value added, you’ve got to answer the question, “What does this really mean to the customer?” Again, your third tip: You need to conduct a value audit within your own company.
Let’s look at the fourth tip. The final thing you need to do is, you need to do convince the buyer, challenge the buyer, to view your solution as something bigger than just a product. Here’s how we do that. When you’re meeting with a customer, they’ll probably try to commoditize your solution and say, “I could buy this same product over at that supplier over there. They’re selling the same thing.” We need to shift the conversation.
That’s what I mean by challenging the customer and convincing the buyer that you’re selling something bigger. You’re really shifting their mindset. You could say to that customer, “Well, you know, Mr. Customer, our products are pretty similar and we are in the same industry, but we’re certainly not in the same business. Because, when you buy that drill (or that product, or that whatchamacallit) from us, you’re not only buying the product, but you’re buying into all the value that our company brings along with it. And when you get to experience that value, it’s going to have a bigger impact on your business. It’s going to help you become more successful. It’s going to help you become more profitable. It’s going to help you free up more resources.” We have to challenge that customer, to think differently and get their mindset beyond just product.
Again, four tips for you just to recap. Number one, remind yourself that you’re not just selling a product. Number two, remember that your value added is already baked in to your solution. Your company’s value added is already baked in to that solution. Tip number three, conduct a value audit within your company. Identify all the ways that different departments bring value and then ask yourself, “How does that value impact the customer?” And finally, number four, you have to challenge the buyer; convince the buyer. Convince the buyer to shift their mind from thinking about your solution as just a product and getting them to acknowledge that it is something much bigger.
Make it a big day.