Direct Marketing Article
Value: What Your Customers Really Want, Learn
How to Sell Based on Value, Not Price
By Nathan Jamail
How many times do you hear, "The customer only cares about the price"? Most
companies or individuals will say they hear it all the time. Price is only
an issue when it is presented as the only benefit (or primary benefit).
Regardless of industry, product and economy, a company does not need
professional sales people to sell price. For that, all they need is a
website or catalog and a payment processor.
If a sales organization wants to increase sales and margin, they need to
teach the sales team how to establish real value and once the sales teams
are taught this, they need to practice doing it over and over again. The
difference between an amateur and a professional is a professional practices
their skills; they don't just play the game or go on sales calls assuming
the sales call is their 'practice." The key to overcoming price is not a
scripted catchy phrase, rather it is learning how to create a real value
partnership and in order to do that, one must practice.
Stop selling value like everyone else
Selling value is more than making statements like, "We offer great customer
service," "We have experience and expertise," or "Our people make the
difference." When asked about the value offered, these are the most common
answers given from sales people and sales leaders. This is no different than
a person going on a job interview and telling the interviewer that they
should hire them because they are a self-starter, team player, people
person, motivated and loyal. All of these answers are generic and do not
differentiate you from the next person.
Value is determined by the prospect. 'What value do you add?' is a trick
question because it can only be answered after the sales professional
understands what the prospect or client defines what they believe is value.
To determine what the customer perceives as value, a sales professional must
ask the prospective customer purposeful questions and ask a lot of them. The
more the sales professional learns and understands, the more likely they
will be able to establish their value according to the prospect. Although
many sales people know this belief, very few truly implement it. Too many
sales people flood a prospect with information on what they have to offer
without knowing whether or not what they are saying will be a value to a
client or prospect. It cannot be stressed enough-ask questions first before
explaining the value you bring!
Asking questions is more than just asking open-ended or leading questions.
Most sales people ask questions like, "Would it be a benefit to you if we
could give you more of this for less money?" In most cases it is a
rhetorical question that the customer has no choice but to respond to with a
'yes.' That is like asking a child if they'd like to have more candy, play
all day and not do homework. Asking purposeful questions allows the sales
professional to truly understand the prospect, and not just their service
needs so they can 'sell' them.
Here are three easy steps to make sure you're able to sell on true value and
1. Write down your questions and take them with you. This does not make a
sales person less of a professional or less of an expert. In fact this will
allow you to show a client or prospect how important it is to fully
understand their needs and desires. In order to do this correctly, the order
of your questions is important as well. Start your questions wide:
industry-company-person-current vendor and then finally about the product or
2. Help the prospective client understand what makes you and your company
successful. A partnership is a two way street-- so remember the sales
professional is responsible for both ways. This means a sales professional
shares with the prospective client what makes them successful without making
it difficult or inconvenient for a prospective client but shows the why and
value for both sides.
3.Practice your sales calls every day before you go on them rather than
simply talking about the appointment afterwards and call it practice.
Practice, practice, practice.
This goes for all sales leaders and sales professionals - if the sales leader
does not mandate ongoing practice and get involved themselves then it will
never happen. This is just like a professional sports team that will not
practice if the coach does not require it and work on the field with the
team. Second thought - if the prospect cannot truly afford the product or
service the sales professional is offering, then do not lower the price and
the perceived value. Instead, find a new prospect. By admitting that your
product is not a fit, you will gain more clients long term than force
feeding a product or service and losing value along the way. Lastly, every
customer/client wants the most for the lowest price. This is not a bad thing
once a sales professional learns how to help the prospect understand they
really want success for the best price.
Success cannot be provided by just a vendor, rather it can only be provided
by a true partner. Sales professionals need to prepare and practice so the
next time the prospective client says, 'I want the cheapest price,' they are
confident and ready to take control of the sales call and never sell (or
lose) on price again.
About the Author:
Nathan Jamail, best selling author of "The Playbook Series," is also a
motivational speaker, entrepreneur and corporate coach. As a former
executive for Fortune 500 companies, and owner of several small businesses,
Nathan travels the country helping individuals and organizations achieve
maximum success. A few of his clients include Fidelity, Nationwide
Insurance, The Hartford Group, Cisco, Stryker Communications, and Army
National Guard. To book Nathan, visit
www.NathanJamail.com or contact