Do you want to convert more of your prospects into customers? How about increasing the number of your current customers into loyal “advocates” of your company? In my experience most sales people miss out on opportunities to create maximum value for their prospects and customers. I’d like to share with you five methods for creating value that will transform your sales revenue.
- Help them gain a new and valuable perspective.
Most business owners have about a thousand things on their mind. Because they are in the trenches of their businesses, sometimes they become so focused on their tasks that they develop blinders and their perspective on their business starts to shrink. Creating value for your prospect or customer involves teaching them concepts that expand and widen their perspective. The reason why businesses hire outside sales people or consultants is to bring in fresh perspective and understanding to their world. What they really want is for you to share with them ideas and insights that they hadn’t considered in the past. Your unique insight must be new to them. There is no value if you tell them things they already know. Help them see their business from a different perspective and you will create maximum value for them.
- Help them solve a problem or inconvenience that they’re having.
Think about the kinds of problems that your products or service solve. Chances are your prospects and/or customers are dealing with some of those problems right now. Part of your work, as a sales professional, is to learn which problems your prospect or customer is dealing with and solve them. When it comes to problems they come in a few different flavors. There are problems in the present that prospects and customers are dealing with right now. Sometimes they know what they need to fix them and sometimes they don’t. There are also problems in the future. Prospects or customers may or may not be aware of those issues and what to do about them. In both of these cases, the prospect or customer is already aware of the existence of a problem whether it be in the present or future. They just need your help fixing them.
On the other hand, there are problems that they are unaware of. These unknown problems could also be in the present or future. With your expert trained eye, it is your responsibility to sit down with these business owners, ask them questions and identify problems that they are not ever aware of yet. When you do this, you bring maximum value to them. This is a beautiful way to apply the first principle of creating value. You can reveal new and valuable perspective related to the existence of problems they are not yet aware of and help them fix it. This is a powerful way to bring new value to prospects or existing customers.
- Help them enjoy the benefits from raising their standards.
Businesses, just like people, develop bad habits over time and can get stuck in comfort zones. Sometimes these bad habits or comfort zones limit growth and progress and can cause a business to linger on performance plateaus. As a sales person, part of the way you create value for prospects or customers is to help them break free of those plateaus and comfort zones and assist them in enjoying the benefits from operating at a new standard. Personal trainers are a great example of this concept. A personal trainer helps an individual who has developed poor habits of overeating or no exercise. The trainer helps him to live his life at a higher standard and perform better through exercises. Just like a personal trainer you can increase value among your prospects and customers by helping them operate their business at a higher standard of performance by doing things better and faster. Helping people raise their business’s standard is one definition of “Solution Selling”. Approaching your selling from this point of view brings a whole different level of salesmanship into view and creates maximum value for your prospects or customers.
- Do things to exceed their expectations in unexpected ways.
Customer Service 101 teaches us the importance of “exceeding” the customers’ expectations. That is often easier said than done because customers continue to raise their expectations of what is “normal”. Sales professionals have to be on their toes. Being average, ordinary, good enough or just meeting expectations is no longer a competitive advantage. In fact, selling this way is a recipe for doom. The lesson here is twofold: First, know what your customer expects, and second, go above and beyond what they expect of you and your company.
But there is another aspect to this. Have you ever had someone throw a surprise party for you? How did you feel? If you’re like most people, you felt valued, appreciated, noticed, recognized and important to others. Most people enjoy the type of surprises that make them feel important. When you do something for a prospect or customer that is unexpected and that makes them feel valued and appreciated, you create maximum value for them. One client of mine is a Pediatric Center. One of the physicians created value for a new mother by giving her some baby formula at the end of her child’s visit unexpectedly. Did the mother need the formula? Yes. Was she expecting to receive some? No. The fact that the physician knew what the mother needed and gave it to her in an unexpected way create a lasting impression. Sales professionals can apply the same principles with their prospects and customers. Remember: Doing things to exceed your prospects and customers expectations in an unexpected way.
- Reduce risk or lower the fear a prospect or customer feels.
Whole industries are created around the principle of helping people “sleep better at night”. However, fear and worry are the things that keep people awake. What do business owners worry about? Decreased profits, wasted time, misuse of resources, theft, staffing problems, accidents, property damage, business failure, etc. The list is endless. What opportunities do you have, as a sales person, to help reduce risk or lower the fear of your prospects or customers?
If you want to create more value for them become a “quasi-psychologist”. Listen and understand what worries them and why. Listen. Ask insightful questions. Really understand them. Then make recommendations and offer suggestions on what can be done to put their mind at ease. When you reduce risk for your prospect you create value for them and increase the likelihood they will purchase. When you lower the fear a customer has concerning their business you create the kind of value that generates referrals and mega loyalty. So, what concerns and fears do your prospects have about buying from you? What are the fears and worries that existing customers have that you can help with? Knowing these and working to mitigate them will make a huge difference for them.
Stop Selling. Start Creating More Value.
The longer I train sales teams on how to improve their results, the more I am convinced that sales people need to STOP selling and START creating more value. I think I will make that my new tag line! Value is not all about a cheap price or getting the best deal on something. A cheap price is just one example of how to apply principle number five (reducing risk), but it is not the only way to create value for prospects. I am convinced that if sales people will work harder to create value for their prospects they will close more deals. I am also convinced that if sales people will continue to explore the needs of their existing clients and work to create value for them, they will convert average customers into loyal advocates. My hope is that more and more sales professionals will incorporate these five methods into their selling process and see great results. This, of course, would be my way of helping fulfill principle number three.
Terry Hansen is a popular speaker, consultant, trainer, and author on helping sales teams improve their ability to create value for their prospects and clients. He is regularly asked to train sales and management teams in strategies to find more prospects, close more sales, and increase customer loyalty through value creation strategies. You can connect with Terry on LinkedIn, or get more information by visiting www.TerryHansen.net or calling 844-205-5054.