How to Change Your Life for the Better by Mastering Value-based Selling
If you’re here, reading the Krauthammer blog, then it’s likely you’re looking for something more. Maybe you detest the negative stereotypes associated with salespeople. Maybe you’re a sales rep with a heart, who wants to be better at what you do and elevate your industry as a whole.
If that’s the case, you’re in the right place and on the right page. Because we’re talking about value-based selling, a methodology that, at its core, is the antithesis of selling for the sake of selling.
But there’s value in value-based selling that doesn’t get the mention it deserves.
Aside from helping you close sales, mastering this methodology can bring value to your life – both personally and professionally.
What is value-based selling?
Value selling is a methodology that puts the customer first – not just by focusing on the value your product or service provides, but by ensuring you add value during every step of the sales process.
It’s not one bit about selling in the traditional sense, which is what makes it such an appealing sales methodology.
Value-based selling, or value-added selling as it’s also known, can be applied by following these five principles:
1. Shift your attitude
Time to take off your selling hat and put on your need-meeting hat. This might be a difficult transition if you’re used to following a different sales methodology, especially one known for being more aggressive, like the Challenger method.
All that matters from here on out is ensuring you bring value to your customer at every stage of the sales process.
From now on your mantra should be:
“Meeting my customer’s needs is all that matters.”
2. Do your homework
Much in the same way you’d carry out online research about a company you have an upcoming interview with, this is the part where you prove you care by laying the groundwork.
In other words, you’re gathering intel so you can determine what their needs are before you meet face-to-face.
Determining your prospect’s needs is how to discover if what you offer can actually add value to their life. If your solution meets needs they don’t even have, then what’s the point?
3. Take it slow
Now that you’ve carried out your online research, it’s time to hear from the prospect themselves. Don’t rush into talking about your product and the value it brings.
Take the time to listen. Like, really listen.
During this part, the only time you should mention you, your company, or your solution is if you’re answering a question your prospect has asked.
4. Educate to empower
Your goal is to empower your customers to make informed decisions, which is why some say educating is the new selling. How did you come to realize the value of what you're selling? By becoming educated yourself. The same goes for your customers.
Educating them instead of pushing for a sale will build trust. And building trust across the customer lifecycle:
- Establish your credibility
- Increase customer loyalty
- Ensure that when they’re ready to buy, they’ll come to you
5. Coach to close
Value selling means you stop being a sales rep and act as a trusted consultant instead. This should follow quite naturally if you apply the previous step of educating instead of selling.
Remember the part about empowering your customers to make informed decisions? Now is the time to coach them through the process of choosing to make a purchase.
When value selling doesn’t work
What if, after all that behavior change, you fail to close the sale?
The thing is when prospects don’t buy it’s because they don’t see the value, not because what you’re selling is too expensive.
So what went wrong? Maybe you didn’t understand and thus believe the value of the solution you’re offering. Or maybe you didn’t communicate it effectively.
Either way, you didn’t deliver.
No matter what it is you’re selling, you need to remember to sell based on the value, and not the price, because let’s face it: your solution might not be the least expensive.
And if it is more expensive, it’s because it’s a premium product that’s worth more. It has greater value. And that’s something you must,
- Understand and believe
- Communicate to your customer
- Ultimately, deliver (by way of closing the sale)
Putting value-based selling into action
Let’s say you’re a hairdresser whose commission increases not just with each cut and color service you perform, but with every styling product you up-sell to your clients.
The product line your salon sells is a premium brand, used professionally by stylists in hair salons and backstage at fashion shows. And the price reflects this.
So, how do you successfully sell hair products using the value-based sales methodology? By applying the following three steps:
1. Understand and believe
When you started at your current salon, you were given product training, and still receive ongoing training for any new additions or improvements to the line. Needless to say, you’re an expert.
Not only do you understand the products’ benefits on paper, but you use them daily with your clientele and have seen the results for yourself. (You probably even have a shelf of them at home in your bathroom!)
Because they are sulfate- and paraben-free, they are gentler on hair as well as the planet. The ingredients are high-quality and concentrated, requiring you to use less, and making them last longer.
Your client might initially flinch when you suggest they invest in a €30 bottle of shampoo, especially if they’ve been using a drugstore brand that costs €6.99. But because you understand and believe in the products, it’s easy for you to communicate their value by saying things like:
- “The sulfates in your drugstore brand are going to make your vibrant color fade so quickly! Spending €30 on top of the €150 you just spent on your cut and color is a small price to pay for color that will last three months instead of four weeks!”
- “Did you know that the drugstore brands dilute their products like crazy? The more water there is in shampoo, the greater amount you have to use. You’re probably spending the same amount in the long run, because you can use so much less of the concentrated salon shampoo.”
- “You know how we’ve been talking about the benefits of shampooing less? This bottle will last you six months if you cut down washing your hair to twice a week.”
You get the point. Learning how to communicate what you know with confidence and conviction, is crucial to sealing the deal.
In this scenario, your chances of closing are high, as the likelihood of selling to an existing customer is between 60% and 70%. Remember, you’ve already closed the ‘cut and color’ part of the sale.
At the end of the day, the €30 price tag isn’t the determining factor. It’s convincing your client that your shampoo has more value than their shampoo at home. But you’re not just convincing them so you can close the sale. Your goal is to find a solution to their problem.
Added value selling only works when you genuinely care.
Author, entrepreneur, and sales leader Anthony Iannarino put it perfectly:
“It’s about caring enough to create value for customers. If you get that part right, selling is easy.”
The key qualities to succeeding at value-based selling
To succeed at value-based selling, there are three intrinsic qualities you can’t do without. Don't worry, if they don't come naturally, they can be developed. In fact, shaping mindsets and changing attitudes – and becoming a more successful salesperson as a result – is the very thing we specialize in at Krauthammer.
We love nothing more than watching our participants change their behavior and witnessing their results.
By shifting your mindset, you can acquire these key qualities:
When you ask a friend how they’re doing, you desire and expect more than “I’m fine, thanks” as an answer, right?
Because you’re genuinely interested in the well-being of those closest to you. The same mindset must be applied when getting to know your prospect.
The level of value your product brings to the table depends on your customer, their needs, and the extent of their problem.
Who’ll see more value in your high-end shampoo?
- The low-maintenance client with natural hair or
- the one who’s afraid of her full head of highlights turning brassy?
A curious, customer-centric approach will help you get to know your prospect and help determine the value your product, service, or solution brings to them specifically.
If seeing is believing, then believing is buying.
You need to stand strong in your belief that what you’re selling provides value to the customer. And you also need to remain 100% committed to the mantra we spoke about at the very beginning of this article:
“Meeting my customer’s needs is all that matters.”
In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, beloved headmaster Albus Dumbledore says,
“There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
What he neglected to mention was the kind of courage it takes to defend how much your product costs – even when your prospect is arguing that it’s too expensive!
Applying these qualities to the rest of your life
Curiosity, courage, and conviction are noble qualities that will serve you not only in the workplace and the sales field but in the rest of your day-to-day.
The participants who’ve come through our training programs have reported overwhelmingly positive results both professionally and personally.
They’ve gained confidence in their selling techniques which has, in turn, molded them into stronger, better individuals.
No matter who you are outside of being a sales rep – a partner, a mentor, a parent, or advocate – isn’t it exciting to know that a behavior change can transform your life?