Value-Added Success

By Malcolm Fleschner

How do you build a case for a value-added solution? Point out to your customers the unique factors and value-added services that make you and your company so invaluable to them, advises Bob Butler, president of Butler Learning Systems. Then build a case for a “value investment” to win sales.

Suppose your price is 10 percent higher than your competitor’s, Butler explains. Ask your customers, “If I can show you 40 to 60 percent more value, will you consider my 10 percent higher price?” When they ask, “What do you mean?” start placing dollar or percent values on the extras you offer.

Tell them you’ll provide start-up or installation, but if they aren’t willing to pay for that, you’ll take it out and give them a lower price. But they’ll answer, “No, we’ve got to have that.”

Then ask what it’s worth to them. Will they give you 3 percent just based on the installation? What about engineering or design? What about service?

“Add it up and demonstrate that you’re providing 40 to 60 percent more value even though you’re only 10 percent higher,” Butler says. “You need to generate cost justification when you’re not offering the lowest price in the market. Make that happen by putting a dollar or a percent value on what you’re worth and what your value-added services are worth.”

Here are six keys to delivering value:

1. Value means something different to every customer. To sell value, determine each customer’s specific needs.

2. Promptness and reliability are critical – offer added value by the way you manage time.

3. The differences among products in today’s marketplace are minimal. When you and the customer agree that you can deliver value better than the competition, close on that issue.

4. Let customers know you value their input into the product’s final design. This builds goodwill.

5. Know who the decision makers are and how each one defines value.

6. Be your customers’ source of expertise on your industry. They’ll trust you enough to keep coming back for more.