Customers today want, results not effort, solutions not idle chit chat and value and not promises.
Many salespeople and organization's business relationships are in jeopardy because they fail to give their clients and customers what they really want. These people give them what they have in inventory, can produce without too much effort or expense, can deliver, need to get rid of, are comfortable with etc. Problem is, what you want me to need and what I want may be two different things.
The supplier determines the price and the customer determines the value. Value is always a perceived issue. No two customers or prospects will measure or define value in the same way. If you sales approach is to sell what your organization has determined is your value premise you may be right from time to time but you also be wrong from time to time. The marketplace is far too competitive to take the chance of attempting to define your value from your customer's perspective.
The question is: how do you measure your value to your customers? There are many ways to do this none of which are foolproof. You can measure your value by:
- Repeat business from clients
- Quality referrals from clients or customers
- A lack of resistance to price increases
- You have all of your customer's business
- Their willingness to entertain new product, distribution or manufacturing
- Their willingness to call you when your competitor is knocking on their door
- Satisfactory after sales evaluations
- Customer surveys
These are just a few of the ways to measure the satisfaction level of your existing client relationships, however none of them in and of themselves is always a true measure of your perceived value to them.
They could just be settling and are unwilling to investigate other options. They could not want to hurt your feelings with the truth. Or, they could actually be actively looking for a new supplier and you just don't know it yet.
Here are a few ways I have discovered how to determine what your real value is and how to help them measure the quality of your relationship with them.
1. Develop a keep in touch program that allows you to stay reasonably close
to your primary decision maker and other key personnel.
2. Develop additional services that you can provide that help them in other
areas of their business.
3. Position yourself as a resource for them in their career or business.
4. Create psychological debt (those of you who have attended one of my sales
seminars know what I am talking about here if not refer to sales Tip No
116 - you can only do this if you are keeping copies of them)
5. Spend time getting to know their business or personal goals, needs and
There are many others but even one of these will go a long way in helping you measure your customer's perceived value of you and your products or services.
Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 3500 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management, leadership and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 60 books including; Soft Sell, That’s Life, Peace Of Mind, 91 Challenges Managers Face Today and Your First Year In Sales. He can be reached at email@example.com , 704-895-1230 or visit his website at http://www.timconnor.com