With our recent focus on Pricing Strategy, we’ve talked about how to tell if you’re too cheap, and also talked about how raising your price grows your sales. To raise your prices successfully, you need to demonstrate value.
Which brings us to that critical question – What is value?
If in doubt about value, think about Warren Buffet’s famous saying – Price is what you pay, value is what you get. Value is something that your customer will end up with when a sale has happened.
Just like the map which leads to treasure island – how do you guide your customer so that they are more likely to achieve their business goals? The extent to which you do this is a measure of the value you provide.
The crucial thing is that value needs to be defined from your customer’s perspective. To be successful and grow our sales, we need to sell based on the value that our solutions deliver to our customers. We need to look at life from their perspective, feeling their joy, their fears, their pain. Remember that other old saying – give them what they want and feed them what they need. Good businesses go further – they give you what you need, even if you don’t yet realise what this is.
So, it is value – from the customer’s perspective – that gets sales over the line and puts money into our business bank account. Price comes into consideration – and increasingly so when we fail to demonstrate value.
How can we demonstrate value? How can we show our customer that we have that something special they are looking for?
Here are 12 ways to demonstrate value to your customers and grow your sales:
One – Build a better product/service
This one’s a given. If you’re providing a better product/service than your competitors, you are going to demonstrate more value to your customers and grow your sales as a result.
Two – Paint a picture of the customer’s new life in the presence of your product/service
This is where your well-thought elevator pitch comes in. You need to know your customer so well, better than they know themselves. What’s keeping them awake at night? What gives them joy? What would they like to reduce? What would they like to increase? When you know the answers to these questions, tell your customer, in words and tone that they can understand and relate to.
Three – Talk about what your customer can’t do without you
What would happen for your customer if your product or service simply did not exist? How will your customer’s world be smaller without your company? What will they fail to achieve? How will they struggle to breakthrough? What part of your solution reduces the friction in their life and gives them more peace and/or free time?
Four – Get your customers talking about you
When your customers are talking about you, suddenly you don’t need to promote yourself. You’ve got your very own raving fan club. How can you help your customers to talk about you to their friends and family? What social media platforms do you have where they can share their experiences, thoughts, photos, etc?
Five – Provide more personalisation than your competitors
People buy from people. How can your people give a more personalised service to your customers, in a way that works for your customers? Especially if you have a complex solution, how can you give your customer the extra help they need in those tricky places so that they can get the results you’ve promised that your solution will deliver?
Six – Make it easy for your customers to do business with you
Have you ever mapped your customer’s journey? How easy are you to do business with? What is the accounts process like in your business? We need to remove as much friction as possible, so that our customers enjoy a streamlined on-boarding as they begin with us. What can you do to make it easier for your customers to do business with you?
Seven – Give a better guarantee
What guarantees are there in your industry? What do people expect you to provide? How long do they expect your solution to last? What is your customer’s greatest fear? Consider all these factors and put together a guarantee that will speak to their deepest fears about your industry and give them certainty in the face any unknowns.
Eight – Look after your customers when things go wrong
This is an interesting one. Most companies in any industry will do a good job. It’s only when something goes wrong that you get a deeper understanding of who you’re really dealing with.
Nine – Be an expert educator on your company’s products/services
If you understand the depth and the breadth of your company’s offering, your customers will be better off. You’ll see the little details in their lives that you competitors fail to notice, and then tell your customers about the features in your offering that deliver the benefits they are looking for. When you focus on educating your customer, rather than trying to ‘sell’ to them, you build trust and discover that sales are a natural outcome.
Ten – Stay informed about industry trends
Staying informed about industry trends and understanding how these trends impact your customers will give you a greater understanding of your customers’ lives. Understanding your competitors will also help you differentiate your company’s offering when you’re talking with your customers.
When you show your customers that you are thinking laterally creating the best solution to meet their needs, this will increase their trust. So, your customers will benefit twice – they’ll have a more customised solution that works for the way their world is changing, plus they will know they are working with a company who is truly looking after them.
Eleven – Stay in touch with helpful tips
Once you’ve made the sale, stay in touch with helpful tips. If you see an interesting article about your customer’s industry, send an email with a link to the article. If a new book comes out by one of their competitors, let your customer know about it. When you become aware of legislative changes that impact on your customer’s business, check in to see how you can help them.
Twelve – Listen deeply
In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to forget to listen. We each have two ears and one mouth – we should be listening more than we’re talking. How long is it since someone really took the time to listen to you deeply? How did this make you feel?
When we really listen to someone, giving them our full attention and letting them speak and be heard – they also feel valued as a result. Listen deeply to your customers. You’ll show them that you value them, and probably discover other areas where you can help them even more.
If you’d like to develop a strategy to grow your sales through demonstrating value, let’s make a time to talk.
The great thing about these 12 suggestions is that they will require little or no additional sales budget. That’s right – you can get out there right now and demonstrate value without breaking your company’s bank account! As we listen more deeply, we understand our customers’ lives more deeply. We are then in a better position to pitch our offering so that it resonates with our customers. Having demonstrated value, we will see our sales grow.