Paul expounds on the many benefits of selling value, not price.
The role you play as a salesperson has meaning. You help people.
The Value-Added Selling philosophy: Do more of that which adds value and less of that which adds little or no value.
When your singular focus is value, it simplifies the message and leaves price out of it.
Value-Added Selling is about building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with your customers.
Your success is a byproduct of the value you create for your customers.
Be a person of value!
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What are the benefits of Value-Added Selling?
(Transcribed from podcast)
We’ve got another question coming from the website. Once again, this is proof positive; if you put your question on the website, I’m going to answer it on a show.
So here is the question. This question comes from Lali, and it’s L-A-L-I. I hope I’m pronouncing that correctly, Lali. But Lali wants to know, “What are the benefits of Value-Added Selling?” Think about that. On this podcast, we’ve talked about Value-Added Selling quite a bit, and there are several ways you can go out there and sell. But what we talk about is how we sell in value. So I’m going to answer that question today: “What are the true benefits of Value-Added Selling?”—the benefits for you and for your customers.
Before we get into answering that question, let’s talk about The Creative Impostor Studios. Andrea and her team have helped this podcast grow immensely. They’re helping by just the support they bring. Andrea and her team are there to answer questions to help you get started. Reach out to them if you’re curious about it. Now, podcasting, as I mentioned before, it’s a great way to connect with an audience. Look at all the different podcasts that are out there: sports-related, spiritual, health, sales, business, entrepreneurship. You name it, there’s a podcast for something. So if you’re eager to start a podcast, reach out to Andrea and her team. They can help.
Also, since we’re talking about the benefits of Value-Added Selling, why not mention the book, right? Value-Added Selling is available on Amazon or wherever you get your books. It’s on the fourth edition. This message has stood the test of time. It’s been around since, really, the mid 80s. It’s still thriving today. It’s because it’s a system; it’s a philosophy. It works. It just simply works.
So, let’s get back to the show. What are the benefits of Value-Added Selling? We’re going to talk about benefits in several different ways: financially, mentally. There are so many benefits to this approach. The first benefit we’re going to talk about is the meaning of the sales profession. What you do has meaning. And that’s important for all of us salespeople to understand is that the role you play in the business world has meaning. Selling is one of the, I think, the highest callings. The reason I say that is because nearly every single day, you have the opportunity to help people. You have the opportunity to help your customers. You have the opportunity to make their lives better. You have the opportunity to help them become more successful, that is, if you choose to view your profession in that way. And when we think about Value-Added Selling, we talk a lot about being a person of value, and that means we’re focusing on helping our customers, making their lives easier, solving their problems, serving their needs.
And by doing all of these things, you’re going to realize that it is one of the most rewarding and intrinsically satisfying professions out there, because you are able to help people. And we help our customers in several ways. You show up when they are in a need, a jam. I can think of countless examples, from our training seminars, where salespeople will come in and they will tell a story about how they drove across three state lines with product that their customer needed so that they could bail them out and get them back up and running. I have countless stories of salespeople that have gone into a facility, helped turn it around, and helped save people’s jobs because they did their job and they found ways to help their customers. So that’s one of the benefits of a Value-Added Selling. Beyond, you know, the financial aspect of it, you learn to live with stronger purpose in what you’re doing. And that’s because you’re viewing your role as someone who can help other people. It’s a very powerful position. So that’s why—one of the reasons—it’s such a powerful message.
Now, another piece here, with sales professionals, we’re constantly pulled in different directions. We’re constantly facing new challenges. Value-Added Selling provides a singular focus, and that’s one of the reasons why it has stood the test of time. That’s one of the main benefits is because the message provides a singular focus for salespeople. And it’s built upon a simple philosophy: Do more of that which adds value and less of that which adds little or no value. Think about that. If you’re a salesperson, how simple is your life if you wake up every single day and say, “You know what? Today, I’m going to do more of those things that add value and less of those things that add little or no value”? By doing that, you’re living the Value-Added Selling philosophy. By doing that, you’re going to be more successful. And by doing that, you’re going to have a more meaningful career.
Lali, that’s one of the other core benefits of Value-Added Selling is that you’re able to have that singular focus of following the philosophy, do more of that which adds value and less of that which adds little or no value.
Another benefit of Value-Added Selling is that it will simplify your life when it comes to pricing. My first sales job right out of college, I sold propane for Ferrellgas. And that was during the Hank Hill days. Remember that show, King of the Hill? Whenever I’d tell my buddies, “Oh, I sell propane,” they say, “Oh, do you sell the accessories too, just like Hank Hill?” I was never a big fan of that show by the way, just didn’t connect with me. And I had the propane experience, which is shocking. Anyway, I digress.
So, talk about Ferrellgas. Much of my time was spent looking at pricing, trying to figure out, “Okay, how should I price the product? Should I price it here? What’s our margin going to be? Is it too low? Is it too high?” I would spend more time obsessing over the price because, me, as the salesperson, I had control over pricing. I had parameters that I could price within, and I would obsess, “Okay, where am I going to price this? Where should I price it?”
That was a completely different story when I went to work for Hilti. This organization, they had fixed pricing, and they were a true value-added organization. They took the pricing authority out of the salesperson’s hands, which is absolutely what value-added organizations should do. Because when I couldn’t change the price, I was forced to present the value and not concern myself with the price. I remember going in to meet with one of my customers—one of my very first sales calls with the Hilti—and I walked in there with the confidence knowing I don’t even need to talk about price because the price isn’t going to change. It doesn’t really matter. I went in there; I presented my solution—the customer didn’t even ask for the price. Granted, this was a customer who had been working with us for a while, but they didn’t even ask about price because they knew that Hilti worked on a fixed-price type of template. So again, the reason—the main benefit here—when you are a value-added salesperson and you adopt the philosophy and the approach, it simplifies your life when it comes to pricing.
And then, the final thing we’ll talk about—. With Value-Added Selling, it’s not about just coming in, giving a quick pitch and a hard close, winning the deal then moving onto the next one. Value-Added Selling is about building long-term relationships—mutually beneficial relationships. And that’s one of the core benefits is that you’re building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships that are profitable for both the customer and you, as the salesperson. It’s an equitable, fair relationship.
So what’s interesting about this, and when I talk about profitable, value-added sellers tend to be higher priced. That’s pretty clear. It’s obvious, right? If you’re not the higher priced or if you’re not, if you’re not the cheapest, you need to be able to sell on your value. And building those long-term relationships means you’re always looking for ways to create value for that customer. You’re focused on them, and helping them, and serving them. You do that in the long run, and business will naturally come to you. In the long term, the success that you experience from your customers, the amount of business you get from them, is a product of the value that you create. Your success is a bi-product of the value you create for your existing customers. And so, the nice part about Value-Added Selling, when you build these long-term relationships, you’re keeping customers. Think about how much easier it is to keep a customer rather than go out there and find brand new ones. So again, you’re building those long-term relationships.
And I mentioned the profit piece, and this is something I remember doing this a few years ago. I was bored one day, and I started reviewing my client list—the clients we work with. And I looked at all the companies we’ve worked with that are publicly traded companies. And I went and I looked at their stock price and their performance, and I compared it to the S & P 500. What’s interesting, those publicly traded companies that we partner with, that we help them, they outperform the stock market. So, I have to believe that, you know, having a value-added mindset, value-added process, that is going to help them sell more profitably. It certainly does for them.
Well, Lali, hey, thanks for asking the question. We are now at the end of the show. Just a quick recap. The benefits of Value-Added Selling—Number one: your work’s going to have more meaning. Number two: it gives you a singular focus and that is our philosophy: Do more of that which adds value, and less of that which adds little or no value. It simplifies your life as a salesperson, especially as it relates to price. And finally, you build long-term, meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with your customer. It’s absolutely the best way to go out there and sell profit, Lali.
Make it a big day.