Many salespeople tell us that the way they differentiate themselves from their competition is by adding value to their products, in order for the customer to see why they are charging the price they are.
Nothing wrong with this, of course. It adds meaning to why they are positioned where they are. The customer can see exactly what they are getting for their money, and by adding value.
The customer can make the connection between the product and the savings he will make, or the benefits they will get for the extra investment. This is good, but could it be better? How many times do you ‘hold something back’ so you can surprise the prospect with that little extra to encourage them to buy? We sometimes cause ourselves problems here, because the prospect may be wondering what else might you be holding back, and have they really got everything they could from you?
Something to try might be to add value up front. We do this at MTD by showing what the relationship would be if they dealt with us in the future. In other words, we make the value they will receive very clear from the outset.
What I mean by this is you can do more than just add value after the discussions have been had with the decision-makers. You can show them upfront how much you care, showing the customer what they will gain by working in partnership with you. Your upfront ‘value-add’ ideas may include:
Free ideas and newsletter from your website
These build interest immediately in your prospects’ eyes because they see your influence before they have made any decision to go with you.
Free consultations with a specialist department before the prospect makes a decision
This shows you have multiple levels of value at all stages of the relationship.
Could your marketing department help the prospect find ideas on marketing themselves?
Could your production department share ideas on how the product can be utilized effectively if they bought it?
Videos and podcasts of how others have benefitted from using your product
Just like a case study can convince a customer upfront how other companies have benefitted from using your services, videos and podcasts can show how those same companies have built their business success with your products and services.
Testimonials from others about you
Case studies are good, but testimonials can add value by simply saying how good you are, and they can be made personal by the very people who made the overall decision.
Special terms and conditions
When done with tact, these can assist the prospect in talking to others who are in partnership with making the decision to work with them, and can build value in their eyes without having to resort to discounts. Remember, discounts will never increase value; they will only cheapen the product in the prospect’s eyes.
Free trials of the product before they committ
Not always the best way to increase or add value, as you can make it sound like you are desperate for their business, but it can build trust and give people the opportunity to test things out before committing to the decision. It can also ensure that the product is the right one for the specific prospect’s pains.
By offering extra value before they have to commit to a decision, it makes the prospect feel they would be missing out if they didn’t go with you. Then you don’t have justify a higher price than your competition by adding on the extras; they have seen the value of your offering before you even start talking about price.
Wade Younger, MBA, CSP, CSM, TEFL www.TheValueWave.com