More Than A Gut Feel (Issue 486)

In which we are reminded that to sell our value, rather than defend our cost, we must be able to quantify the value we're selling.

I am crazy about my iPhone apps. Pandora Internet Radio is one of my VERY most favorite – uninterrupted streaming music with extraordinary variety nestled around chosen themes – I have designated 20 different “radio stations.”

This morning, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils popped up mid-stream singing “If You Want To Get to Heaven,” a simple blues-based song that includes the words, “If you want to get some water, you got to get it from a well. If you want to get to Heaven, you got to raise a little hell.”

Without commenting on grammatical, practical, or scriptural implications of the Daredevils’ recommendations, one commercial implication pops out.

“If we want to sell our value, we must speak value when we sell.”

Many clients treat us like “buy-at-the-lowest-price” commodities because we invite them to.

For example, we state a price without clearly expressing outcomes or benefits. Or, we say something like, “Our price is $X, but we can talk about less expensive alternatives if that doesn’t work for you.” Or we recommend “free” products or “low end” products because we know our prospects or clients will not object to them (initially, at least).

If we want to be received as a valuable providers, we have to show up like valuable providers. Part of the value-selling trick is to get specific about that which is often a “gut feel.” Quantify (or describe V E R Y specifically, if we can’t quantify) changes in our clients’ organizations when

  • they purchased products or services from you and your company,
  • we brought ideas that they implemented (separately from products they did or didn’t buy), or
  • we referred them to someone who helped them make changes

Write down:

  • client challenge
  • your intervention
  • client changes/results

These become important, distinguishing selling points versus our competition., as in: “Here are the types of results we have generated with my clients. What sorts of results do your current providers create?”

The key to this: Invest time consistently to document outcomes from our conversations, recommendations, and implementations of products or services with our clients or prospects. Quantify our value or impact so that it’s more than a gut feel, no matter what product or service we sell.

Now, about the second verse…

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