Selling value—not price
Sales professionals who don’t know how to sell value, at some point won’t sell at all. Closing sales based on the lowest price is neither a long-term, nor highly profitable growth strategy. Even in today’s marketplace, you can still be a solid competitor without being the cheapest. You just need to sell value, not price.
Salespeople need to master the art of selling value and stop using the same overused mantras on why they can’t sell in today’s economy, mantras like “if I just lower my price, I could close this sale,” or “if I am cheaper than my competition people will buy from me.”
People don’t always buy based on the lowest price, and no one believes that the lowest price ever equals the best offer. Customers who buy a product or service because it’s the cheapest are not loyal.
If you don’t believe me, think about this: if price is the only thing that matters and people are just looking for “cheap,” then everyone would be driving a Kia, Nordstrom would be empty, flying first class would not exist and we would all be drinking Folgers instead of Starbucks.
In this highly competitive sales environment, salespeople find it difficult to differentiate their offer from their competitors’ in any way but price – but price-cutting is a losing proposition. This dilemma is faced by all business types – whether selling sophisticated high-tech products, real estate, intangible services, or individual/commodity products.
Selling value requires that salespeople have the ability to justify in dollars and cents how the customer will benefit from their solution. If they cannot sell value, they leave the customer no choice but to view their solution as just another commodity. Selling value is not some short-lived sales fad; it’s a comprehensive set of knowledge, tools and techniques that can be incorporated with any sales approach you are currently using.
If the lowest price is your business model, then go for it and sell on price. But if it isn’t your business model, you need to disqualify customers who want the cheapest price and spend your time creating the value you and your company were designed to deliver.
Your competitors say they have similar offerings. They say they have the same features and produce the same benefits. They look like you. They sound like you. They provide the same product or service as you, but they are cheaper. Now what?
The best way for sales professionals to create compelling value propositions is to add value by improving processes and solving problems for their customers.
To break out of the price trap, you have to work extremely hard at differentiating your offering on results and the return on investment. Don’t learn to sell price! Spend your time learning to create more value than your competitors and focus on showing you can create greater outcomes. If you believe that lowering your price is the only way to make a sale, then you have two, and only two, choices in this economy. Either learn how to sell more effectively or get out of sales altogether.
To attract and gain new customers, you need something dynamic and memorable to set yourself apart and not fall into the low-price trap. If you think of yourself as offering a solution to a problem rather than offering the cheapest price, then you are well on your way to succeeding in sales and in your business.