In Cost, Quality, and Value – The Buyer’s Side, I defined value as quality divided by cost. And quality was loosely defined as the degree to which customer or prospects needs are met. But that’s not the end of the story.
The problem with this definition is… what happens when the prospect doesn’t know what they need?
In sales we are taught to ask questions in order to understand what the prospect needs are. This is often an excruciating process. The buyer has to trust that you will add some value after he answers all your questions. But it’s boring and sometimes a waste of time for the buyer to do this.
So what happens instead, if you tell them what they need?
It depends on how you do this. If you’re too direct, you come across as bossy or aggressive. No buyer likes to hear, “Let me tell you what you need to do.” They hear it as, “All you need to do is buy my product or service.” It’s a sales kiss of death.
But often what prospects want is for sales (or marketing) to make them think in a new way about their business. In order to do this, you often have to challenge their current thinking. They are busy, and they want to know things that will help them in their business.
How do you do this? By educating them. Providing them with useful information. By pushing them out of their comfort zone. That’s the basis of Quid Pro Nada. And Quid Pro Nada is owned by both sales and marketing.
So to really add value, can you challenge your buyers to think about their businesses and issues in new ways? Quality is not just understanding their needs but understanding their businesses better than the prospect. Can you help them by providing them with useful information? Or are you simply going to agree with them. If you simply agree with them and copy down their needs, then everything reduces to the lowest common denominator… cost.
Some of the best sales people I know, make me uncomfortable. So grow some cajones. Talk back to your prospects. Respectfully.
Do Great Things!
Prairie Sky Group
Making Sales Cry With Qualified Leads
651-357-0110 (Cell 24×7)