Do you really know how you are valued by your customers? Are you seen as a source of expertise, connections, and solutions? Or, are you seen more as someone who simply provides access to your products? It’s an important distinction.
In today’s world, salespeople need to create value for customers.
The old days of simply communicating value (code word for “pitch”) are evaporating rapidly. The internet allows most of your customers to learn about your products without taking time to talk to you anyway.
So, here is a quick and easy way to improve your sales strategy and determine how your customers use you, and ultimately, for what you are valued:
Take out a sheet of paper and draw a line vertically down the center. Label the left side “Product” and the right side “Help.” Now for the next few weeks track the calls you receive and put a checkmark on the appropriate side of the page. If someone calls you for pricing, availability, details of an order, an invoice, specs, etc., check the product side. If they call for ideas, your perspective, help with research, help with connecting to other partners, etc., check the help side.
It is likely that different customers will see you differently, but soon, it will become clear for what you are most valued by your customers. Hopefully, the “help” side would be equal to or longer than the “product” side, but if not, you should work to change that.
Are you truly creating value for your clients, or are you mostly perceived as a pair of hands to provide the last few pieces of information the customer cannot get online? It’s your choice, but clearly, one of those positions is mighty risky these days.
Learn how to develop a powerful business relationship by ensuring you are seen as a trusted and valued resource.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published April 1, 2013 and has been updated.