It’s almost Christmas, Santa is readying the elves to stock up the shops for the influx of stressed parents looking to spend more money on presents. I’m a typical man, so I like to complete the entire Christmas shopping in less than ten minutes. But what I really look for is a product/service that solves a solution rather than price.
For instance I bought my father an experience day in a hot air balloon because it’s something he’s always wanted to do. Therefore I set out to look for a company that offered the service within a reasonable distance, offered excellent guides, had positive customer reviews etc. Price was the last option I looked at.
So why am I waffling on about my typical man shopping? Because the same rule applies in B2B too. Most sales professionals assume the most important thing to a customer is price. From my experience I have found that this is an assumption. Go too far discounting the price and you will harm your profit margins and your business. Lead on price initially and you’ll attract customers that don’t prioritize loyalty and will switch when a cheaper alternative is available.
The truth is, the majority of customers don’t start their shopping based on price, or even a specific product for that matter. Instead, customers want a solution that will give them their desired outcome and meets their needs. Look at your current customers and really understand why they have bought from you. You’ll find that it’s often because your staff, your service, your support process is the key driver. Once your customer is satisfied that you can deliver a solution that offers them real value, the price usually takes care of itself.
How can you sell value and not price?
It’s unfortunate that most sales professionals struggle to steer away from price. If they attempt to discuss their business’ value with a customer, they tend to revert it back to product and price, for example:
- This product will help you stay on time and budget
- This ‘feature’ will do this and that
- This product has a lower cost than another product
You may be thinking that there are some valid points here, and you’d be right. However they don’t go far enough. Ten years ago a sale may have been made, but in today’s market the customer is more educated before they even speak to a sales person. What needs to be discussed is the ultimate value of what is being offered. The dots need to be connected very precisely and the sales person needs the ability to identify the customers concerns and specifically what that particular customer will benefit from your solution. Fail to do this and the customer will see your solution as just another commodity where price is the only consideration instead of buying into your expertise.
People buy to solve a problem
It’s worth remembering that customers will only buy something because they have goals and constraints that directly affect their business, and they need a solution. Concerns that become a force for buying usually fall into three main categories – PPI, Productivity, Profitability and Image.
– Productivity – expediency, efficiency, increased output
– Profitability – making money, ROI, increased profit margin
– Image – style, reputation, public relations
Listen to your customer and at some point they will ask the question, “What’s in it for me?” This is the good bit because now you can understand their priorities and what they would buy if they could find it. Tailor your proposal to perfectly fit your customer’s expectations and you’ll find they will buy from you.
Understanding your customer’s needs and buying behavior can be a tricky business, luckily sales-i is here to help. Our solution can identify customers buying patterns and help you make better sales and business decisions. There’s no time to lose, get a free online demo today.