When you come up with a proposal for a client or prospect, where do you believe the “value added” is? Do you think it’s in the price-per-product cost? Do you think it is found in free services that come with the proposal? Or, do you believe most of the value added lies in your ability to uncover the prospect’s critical needs, and the bright ideas you’ve brought to the table to solve those specific needs?
Additionally, might some of that value be in the assistance you’ll provide to implement that solution without a hitch? Or, could it be that you are knowledgeable about their industry, and have spotted trends for them in the past? Could it be the expertise you drew upon to come up with a creative and specific solution to their most pressing need?
Of course, ALL of this is value added. But if all you've done is talk up the free stuff you are giving away, your sales strategy is a thinly-disguised means of cutting your rate.
This is called “inventory-based value added” and it results in you giving away what you should be selling.
You’ll make more sales and earn a higher price if you focus on creating specific value for the customer, not pitching general product value.
In fact, a properly-employed value-added business strategy can:
- Enlarge and redefine the product you sell.
- Differentiate your company (and you) from the competition.
- Make price comparisons impossible (especially from your online competition).
- Create a more satisfied customer.
Look at your most current proposal. Which type of “value added” are you highlighting?
If you’re a sales manager:
Have your people bring some of their current proposals to a meeting. Discuss ways to highlight the expertise-based, value-added elements in these proposals before they get presented to the clients. If they don’t include any of these elements, collaborate to develop some before they present.
On your way to a sales call? Commuting?
You can improve your sales strategy from your smart phone!