21/11/2012 - 07:11

The most misused word in all of sales

21/11/2012 - 07:11

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The most misused word in all of sales

THE most misused word in sales will surprise you; it’s ‘value’.

Value is a misguided and misused word whose meaning has gone fallow. It is used without meaning, understanding, and implication. It’s bantered about to the extent that customers (including yours) are becoming numb to it.

Value has become an empty buzzword - it’s like the word paradigm, only dumber, because you can’t define ‘value’ in terms of the customer if your life depended on it.

Reality: When you print or speak the word ‘value’, it’s usually from your perspective. Your self-defined value. The value you put on your product or service, your value statement, your value proposition, your added-value, or worse (the slang that no-one can define), your ‘value-add’.

Grim reality: Whether implied, given, added, printed, or spoken, the key word that makes ‘value’ both misused and misunderstood is ‘perceived’. If the customer or prospect does not perceive value, no matter what you say, there is none. The customer’s perception of value is your reality and the customer’s perception is all that matters. Your sales hang in the balance.

Value clarification: When a salesperson says, ‘The value-add is ...’ and whatever they say implies you must buy before you get any value - that’s not good. It sounds insincere, and is usually somewhere close to bogus. It’s not value.

Ask yourself these questions to discover if there’s any real value in your value offering.

• Do I have to buy something to get the value offered?

• Is there a pitch at the end of the free valuable information?

• Am I required to do something in exchange for the value?

• Am I stating value in terms of me, my company, or my products?

If any of these questions are answered in the affirmative, then the value you’re offering is perceived as negative.

If you have a ‘value proposition’ (most companies do), and you talk about it as your ‘value prop’, it’s probably self-serving. My advice is: get rid of it and create a new one. A value proposition is not about who you are, what you do, or what your benefits are; it’s how the customer wins. Value must be expressed in terms of them. ‘Added value’ is a phrase that makes my blood pressure rise. Don’t add value, give value. Big difference. Adding implies you have to buy to get. Giving means the customer receives before buying.

Give value, don’t add value.

My marketing philosophy and marketing strategy: I give value first.

I put myself in front of people who can say yes to me and I deliver value first. Doing that creates value attraction - it’s the real law of attraction.

Also note: Providing continuous, value-based information after the sale ensures loyalty.

Here are some specific examples of before and after the sale ‘value ideas’. Think about these and then create your own.

• Sharing industry best practices.

• Manufacturing components and offering plant safety tips.

• Medical devices to doctors and teaching bedside manner.

• Teaching clerks how to close sales when a customer comes in to buy using your coupon or voucher.

• Office supplies and teaching customer service to receptionists and accounting.

• Anything in favour of your customer that helps them increase productivity, communication, operations, morale, and especially profit.

Obvious answer: If you really want to deliver value, ask your customer what he or she considers valuable. Whatever they say, do that, offer that, share that, communicate that, teach that, print that, and say that. In a nutshell, that’s value. Real value. Value perceived. There’s more value insight available. Go to www.gitomer.com and enter the words VALUE MOTIVE in the GitBit Box.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone. com. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to salesman@ gitomer.com

© 2012 All Rights Reserved. Don't reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112 www.gitomer.com.

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