Is your sales strategy focused mainly on price? To reach their quota, many salespeople resort to lowering their prices. While everyone loves a bargain, savvy B2B buyers know that you get what you pay for. They consider more than price when reviewing providers and making purchases. That's why it's important to explore alternatives for turning prospects into buyers.
Julie Thomas, CEO of ValueSelling Associates, says sales professionals should avoid relying on price as a differentiator and instead focus on understanding the prospect's unique needs. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we discuss Thomas' thoughts on what to do instead of dropping your prices.
Focus on features that fit a unique need. Thomas says this accounts for the largest degree of differentiation, regardless of an industry, and is typically what product education focuses on. What features, functions and deliverables do your B2B solutions provide that are ideal for a particular prospect? How are these an improvement over what already exists in the market or within the company? Can you cite specific customers who have seen quantitative improvements since adopting your products or services? These brief stories will stick with the prospect, especially if they were battling similar business issues.
Offer more favorable terms and conditions. If you're in a crowded field or your solution is now commoditized, you may distinguish yourself by offering more favorable payment terms or extended product warranties.
Save time by delivering convenience. Time equals money, especially if a company lacks internal resources for anything but a quick deployment. How easy is it to explore your offerings? Does a contract come with 24/7 support online or over the phone? Do you offer free resources? Think about how you can provide value by offering convenience.
Provide a higher level of assurance. Thomas notes that this advantage typically goes to industry leaders with a proven track record of delivering quality goods and ongoing support. If you are a startup without a strong client list, tout the expertise of your staff to assure prospects of your solutions' durability, flexibility, security and any other highly sought feature or function. Most B2B entrepreneurs were first successful somewhere else; that's why they went out on their own. They also tend to bring solid talent with them. Leverage that expertise to quell any concerns about the lack of long-term successes.
Don't strive to be known as a low-cost provider. Instead, aim to become known as someone who provides the best value for the price. Whether you're working with a prospect or a long-time client, make sure you show how your vision for success and their vision match. This is where differentiation makes all the difference. This article was originally published in PCT Today, July 19, 2019. Used with permission from PPAI.
Source: Julie Thomas is CEO of ValueSelling Associates. She has personally consulted and trained in a wide variety of industries and corporations, including The Ken Blanchard Companies, ON24, Adobe, NCR and PrimePay. Thomas serves as a board member to the Value Selling and Realization Council and is the author of ValueSelling: Driving Up Sales One Conversation At A Time.