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When the benefits outweigh the cost, the result is value. Value is the most important thing you can offer.


When my wife asked me to come into the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, my first thought was, Uh oh, now what?

It seems all too often that means a new renovation idea.

She continues by saying, “You see these beautiful Formica countertops from 1972? I want new granite countertops.”

My response was, “How much?”

Isn’t that what a person might ask? Why is that?

Because I/we don’t see the value. And without value, we resort to cost.

Cost is a logical response, especially you remember the old saying, “you can’t argue with logic”. That’s true.

That’s why most salespeople freeze when the customer says, your price is too high.

The bottom line is this. “If you can’t price your value, all the customer sees is cost. And whatever the cost is, it’s too high.”

What we need to do is shift the focus from cost to value.

Value is emotional. People buy emotionally and back up their decision with logic.

Logic is on the left side of the brain. Emotion is on the right side of the brain.

It’s been said the right brain buys and the left brain justifies the buy.

Why is value emotional?

Because customers understand that value is the result they will receive, and customers nearly always buy when they see substantial benefits.

My favorite formula is Value = Benefit – Cost.

When the benefits outweigh the cost, the result is value. Value is the most important thing you can offer.

The goal for every salesperson should be to present benefits.

This approach prevents the discussion from turning into one that is based simply on cost.

Because if there are no benefits, there’s no value and no cost will be low enough to make the sale.

Before every sales appointment, make a quick list of the potential benefits you might offer to this prospect.

Dig deep to get beyond the obvious benefits you offer, such as a big and reliable brand name, solid customer service, and the like.

Find out something about your prospective client that will lead to deeper and more unique benefit conversations.

When you meet, use this information and then ask, “when it comes to investing in _______, what’s most important to you?”

Whatever the customer’s response is, that’s where you want to focus, because it’s where they put the highest value.

Align your solution to what’s most important to them and you will be able to show the value and benefits you deliver.

What we need to realize is that value is in the eyes of the beholder – the customer.

And each of the four personalities view value differently.

For example, Blues value safety, security, great service and quality.

Golds value the return on the investment and the financial aspects of their investment.

Greens value innovation, capability and expertise.

Oranges value ease of use, the immediate benefits and one stop shopping with a person they can rely on.

When you understand the personality styles of your customer, you will better understand it’s not what they buy, but why.

The bottom line is this: Don’t assume what value means to your customer.

Do research, ask thoughtful questions and then you’ll have a solid understanding of their perspective, which is really all that matters.

When you connect with them on their terms, your chances of success increase dramatically.

About the author

Stu Schlackman

Stu Schlackman

Stu has spent over 25 years in sales management, sales and sales training with…

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