The connection of value between the buyer and the seller begins with marketing and then selling takes over.

Selling value is a hot topic and now is incorporated into many sales training coaching programs, books or workshops under some of these phrases:

  • How to sell value
  • Value-based selling
  • Creating client value
  • Value proposition
  • Solution Selling
  • Relationship Selling
  • Selling value not price

The inherent misnomer within these learning solutions that look to develop a sales skill around this concept of value is:

 People buy on value unique to them.

Sure, as the salesperson you may find some shared commonalities between buyers; however, it is within those minutiae of differences specific to value perception that will surface as objections to even major obstacles that may keep you from ever earning the sale.

Another misnomer within this discussion of creating value is this perspective originates from the ego of the salesperson or the organization.

Now, most top performers understand to leave their ego at the door. Yet to embrace the attitude “my solution or my company sells value” suggests the ego is fully engaged.

What works far better is to change the mindset of selling value to one of being a connector to the buyer’s value perception and to your solutions.

This may require investing some time with potential customers to truly understand what is important to them without even looking to “make a sale.”

This is the time to leave transactional selling at the door along with your ego.

Some advocate thinking of your qualified sales lead as an existing client or customer where you are educating and becoming a resource for that decision-maker.  Phrases like “trusted advisor” to “strategic partner” come to mind.

A third misnomer about selling value is that it suggests only the salesperson can take this action.

If people buy on value unique to them, then the first action is to attract their attention through marketing by showcasing what might be important to them.

For example, Ford began a marketing message campaign of syncing mobile technology within their Fiesta and Focus vehicles specific to the digital natives.

With so many younger people being digitally connected, Ford connected that value perception of “being connected” to their vehicles of having “mobile technology synchronization.”

Did Ford create value?  No, as their potential customers already had that value.

Did Ford sell value? Not really, because the value was unique to each buyer.

Did Ford connect the buyer’s value to their solution?  Absolutely, they did.

The connection of value between the buyer and the seller begins with marketing and then selling takes over.

Top sales performers, some of whom are excellent marketers, have the ability to make numerous connections, thereby strengthening the “Buyer’s Values Bridge” where ultimately the buyer walks across the bridge and pays for that privilege.

Value cannot be connected until a solid relationship is built and a friend is truly made.

This third misnomer helps to explain the importance of third party referrals where friends make a recommendation to purchase a particular product or to even consider investing in a service provider.

In these cases, the salesperson did not create value because the value again was inherent within the buyer that being, “I believe my friend.” I am unaware of any businesses selling friends.

Now some within the sales training coaching industry may take umbrage with this perspective. And that is okay because diversity of thought is how we improve as individuals in our respective roles.

Yet, if we believe people buy on value unique to them, then for salespeople to really believe they can be successful by selling value to create value is as Mr. Spock states: “Quite illogical.”

About the author

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Leanne Hoagland-Smith has over 25 years in sales. Her true joy is selling and…

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