The concept of value-added selling has been a popular one for a number of years. In fact, in today’s contracting world you are left with two choices.
1. Provide excessive value for the price that you charge.
2. Charge a cheaper price for the low value you provide.
That’s right, the natural laws come into place here. In the world today the buyer will either force you to either provide more value to get the price you need. Or they will force you to lower your price if you refuse to raise your value.
There is no doubt
Without value-added components, any product or service can be driven down to the most bottom line – price.
What is the problem with that?
When you are only selling price, you’ll never be able to make high margin sales where profitability, long term growth and sales success reside. Let’s take a look at 10 ways how you can add value to your product or service, no matter brand of equipment you sell.
Some salespeople might argue by saying, “You don’t understand, my product is different,” or “My service is different.” The truth is that every product or service can have value added to it. Let’s take a look at 10 specific ways that you can do this:
1. Providing expert advice and a high level of professionalism. Lots of professionals are paid a tidy sum for the level of advice that they provide. However, for you as a home comfort sales professional, in order for you to be able to provide value, you need to understand that you have to provide a level of advice that is significantly higher, more sophisticated and more valuable than that of your competition. Plus, you have to be able to communicate this to your prospect in a meaningful way. What this means communicating to your prospect a higher level of sophistication, wisdom and understanding about what it is you do. In a nutshell, why are you different and better than your competition? Odds are you have already purchased things like IAQ monitors, Infiltrometers, duct blasters and heat exchanger cameras. Now know when to use them. By all means, do use them.
2. Bundling and packaging. I’m not only talking here about the way your product or service actually looks. I’m also talking about desirable packages, purchasing levels and a series of added benefits that are significant in value and are, themselves, a whole lot more valuable than simply the product is by itself. Clean air packages, Silent system packages etc.
3. Service levels. It is possible for you to differentiate yourself not only by providing a higher level of service but by adding different levels of service based upon someone’s size, frequency or amount of purchase? For example, you may want to have gold or platinum or silver levels of service that people qualify for, are willing to pay for, and receive when they do business with you. Response time, 24 hour service and pre-paid maintenance are examples of upgraded service levels.
4. Frequent buyer programs. This is tied into the concept that the more someone buys from you, the more valuable service, pricing, benefits and related items they receive. It is somewhat like frequent flyer miles with an airline. I know people who actually fly thousands of miles out of their way to stay on one particular airline only because they want to build up the miles! Reward your current customers before you reward new customers.
5. Transition and education. As new customers come on board with your company you may want to provide action or transition teams to help them to be better able to utilize the products or services that you sell them. By the same token, the more education they have related to those products or services the more capable they’ll be at utilizing them. What does that mean? Happy, satisfied, customers who eagerly buy more services and products.
6. Recognition and reward levels. This is somewhat different from frequent buyer programs in that with this particular concept you actually provide recognition to clients or customers based upon their ability to utilize your product or service, maximize its potential, buy certain levels from you, etc. What this means is that they, themselves, are recognized for being outstanding customers. Several years ago we included a Hall of Fame in our newsletter and had lots of clients very interested in appearing and becoming a part of our Hall of Fame. It’s a fantastic way to utilize good relationships and good will.
7. Qualitative preference. Based upon someone’s level of purchase, involvement or interaction, you provide a higher quality of product, perhaps a more sophisticated level of service, dedicated personnel, dedicated phone lines, fax lines, or the like, that gives them a greater opportunity to be treated better than the run-of-the-mill customer happens to be.
8. Dedicated personnel. It is not difficult to understand that the more someone is familiar with another customer’s account, products, machinery, equipment or way of doing business, it is far easier to do business with that organization. In this scenario, you can simply assign dedicated account people to handle your customer’s accounts personally.
9. Speed of service or delivery. One of the ways to differentiate a company is to guarantee some sort of on time or faster delivery. It is very well known that on time delivery is a key component for charging full or maximum pricing. It is also a component as it relates to providing value-added services and products.
10. Insider information. This is very common when people are selling information as it relates to technical products, new and innovative products, or anything related to information or time specific data. Utilizing this process, you may want to consider a regular newsletter (electronic or printed) that updates customers on a regular basis as it relates to very key and important information they need to have.
These 10 ways to add value can all be applied in your day-to-day sales activity.
It requires creativity, innovation and a willingness to out-work your competition. But the real truth is that if you continue to sell the way you always have, price will continue to rule.
I also guarantee you that you’ll have a competitor that will take one or several of these 10 ideas and put them into place. So beat them to the punch! Join our next training seminar Total Immersion. View the dates and reserve your seat at www.totalimmersionsales.com