Too often, when sales people talk about value, it seems it’s some sort of fixed outcome customers should expect if they buy the sales person’s solution. Corporate web sites and sales people talk about, “Our value proposition is…..”
In all honesty, when in my early years in selling, I tended to position value as the endpoint customers would achieve if they bought the products I sold.
It’s a pretty antiquated view of value. The reality is that we must be creating value with the customer for the entire life cycle of our relationship. From their very first digital engagement with us, through every interaction, through their experience of buying, implementing, and utilizing our offerings, we need to be attentive to the value being created in that relationship.
For all sales professionals, this concept of value offers us tremendous ability to differentiate ourselves and compete more effectively. We are no longer limited to winning based on having the lowest price option, or to having more features and functions than the alternatives. We have a much broader basis from which to help our customers, to build a relationship, to support our customers’ aspirations and grow with them.
The relationship becomes less about what we sell, but how we achieve our shared goals.
The concept that value is not a destination, but something we continue to build throughout our relationship with the customer. We have data that customer loyalty and growth is driven by our ability to continue to create value and to help the customer innovate and change. The data tells us that limiting ourselves to defending and maintaining the value we have created in the past is a limiting strategy. We have to look back to that first purchase–the customer bought because we helped them think differently, to change, to innovate in some way. Continuing to do this is what customers most value.
We lose a tremendous opportunity to grow and expand when we limit our thinking to value as a destination.