“You don’t determine the value of your products or services – your customers do”
Relationship Selling is Good but is it enough?
The main premise of Relationship Selling is that you first develop a relationship with the buyer and then sell to them based on the trust you have earned with them.
Most people would agree that relationship selling is one of the most effective methods for long term success in sales. I think that while it is effective you could add another focus to it that could deliver even better results.
Business value based selling
Business value based selling is focused more on the benefits to the business than to building the relationship between the seller and the buyer. When you have a strong relationship and the person you have a relationship with is transferred, quits, falls ill, or is terminated you are back to square one.
If you have taken the approach of focusing your marketing efforts on asking good questions, listening to your customers to identify their greatest needs, and educating them as to the benefits of doing business with your firm, you have a solid basis for a long-term business relationship.
So the question to ask yourself is “How sure are we that our customers know the benefits of doing business with us as compared to buying from others”? You cannot answer that question accurately without some type of feedback from your customers.
You can only guess.
Which leads to the following three steps:
- Outline the advantages you offer your customers over your competition.
- Convey this information to your customer.
- Ask your customers if they agree that the benefits you list are real to them.
If they agree you have done your job and you are selling based on value to your customer. If they don’t agree you need to find a way to deliver benefits that your customers value.
For example – suppose you have a 100% guarantee of your product or services. Suppose some of your competition also offers a 100% guarantee. You could make the guarantee 105% – meaning you will give them 5% more than they put at risk if they are truly unsatisfied. When you offer something like this it separates you from you competition – and you better be sure that your products and services are really good.
Other examples might include a quicker delivery time.
Can you guarantee a shorter deliver time? Or how about a follow-up system where you guarantee service after the sale?
The bottom line is that you have to do something that makes you stand out. One way to get an idea of what would make you stand out is to ask a sampling of your customers “What is the one thing you wish people in our industry would do a better job in or what could they provide that they currently aren’t providing”.
Then find a way to do a better job or to provide the missing element.
That will be your cornerstone in Business Value Based Selling!
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