By Grant Cardone
The reality is your prospect sees your product to be very similar, if not identical, to others offered and then places much of his/her decision on the price rather than the value. The salesperson, unable to differentiate between price and value, will not successfully handle the difference between the two.
Unless you can create a powerful and distinct difference between your offer and the competition’s offer, the customer will be left to make a decision on who is lowest. How you separate yourself and your offer is what distinguishes you from the competition. You’ve just got to be different, and price is the most costly way to make you different.
Seven Ways to Sell Value
- Product differentiation. You must come up with ways in which your product is different than the competition. Even when the product is identical, your product presentation is what will separate the perceived differences in the buyer’s mind. You have to know your product and combine that knowledge with what it is the buyer wants to accomplish.
- Price differentiation. Untrained salespeople believe price is the deciding factor, but this is not true. Price is a myth when a true salesperson builds value and desire and urgency. Thin margins and salespeople who believe price is the only solution have put more companies out of business than any other single factor. If your company elects to be the low-price provider, your company better have every expense category cut to the bone, including sales commissions, and better be able to make it up with large volumes, which is highly suspect in this environment, or you will perish in short order. I can give you an almost endless list of companies that have failed using this strategy.
- Relationship differentiation. If there is a solid relationship between you and your clients based on high trust, you have an inside track on the value presentation. People would rather do business with people they know than people they don’t know. This dependence upon who we know and these relationships have not been correctly framed over the years, and we must get back to it.
- Process differentiation. Companies typically get into a rut about how they handle customers, with management assuming that the processes of yesterday will continue to work today. While the basics never change, you have to accommodate a changing market and buyer expectations so your processes do differentiate your company. The Mac Daddy Rule with processes today is make it easy, friendly, fast and different than your competition. Lastly, make sure your process is consistent with your marketing message.
- Technological differentiation. New modes of communication encompass a wide variety of options, from using podcasts, social networking sites, online video, video emails, blogs, electronic negotiating solutions, CRM systems and combining direct mail with electronic scrub campaigns to target select customers.
- Experiential differentiation. Provide customers with knock-your-socks-off service and experiences so that they tell friends and family. Ask yourself, how can we “wow” our prospects based on what they may experience shopping somewhere else? Warning: Be sure your process supports the experiential differentiation.
- Marketing differentiation. Gimmicks like no money down, free credit and lowest price are lazy attempts at marketing and typically fail. Direct your marketing to potential buyers of your products in a manner that hits each of them as individuals, and be sure that the process can deliver it. Remember the game is to outsell, not just outmarket your competitors.
Make yourself different by making the sales staff different, your processes different and the customer experience different. Don’t think in terms of sales training; think in terms of sales effectiveness.
This article reprinted with permission from Grant Cardone.