Monday, January 9, 2012

The Art Of Offering Value Propositions

Throwing out value without knowing that it will address a Value Opportunity of your customer is uneconomical. There's no reason for a person to buy something unless it satisfies a need. If the customer can see exactly how your products/services can help them, they will be much more likely to buy.

When To Offer Value Propositions
You should initially offer value at the following times: (This does not include offering additional value to build acceptance. We covered that in another posting.)
1. During probing for understanding, once you are confident the Value Proposition will effectively address their Value Opportunity. Delivering customer-specific Value Propositions will build acceptance and lead to closing on the sale.
2. To get the attention of a non-responsive customer if they are trying to get rid of you. You must make an educated guess what value will match their needs based on your precall plan.
3. Part of soliciting feedback to show you're listening to their needs.

How To Offer Value Propositions
- these are delivered during the call. You react to what they say with the pitches and proofs you know.
1. Use QA (Question/Answer) to gather as much information as possible about the different needs they have that legitimately match up to the services we provide. Do not promise what we cannot deliver, but make sure you uncover all of the ways we can help.
2. Use their excitement level as a way to gauge which needs are of higher priority. They may also tell you their priorities.

Active note-taking (and accurate CRM entries) are crucial to ensure you don't miss anything. Don't just "vomit value." Value should be customer-specific to ensure that you are always adding to their acceptance. What is valuable to one prospect may not matter to another.

Proactive - these are delivered offline, not during the call. You evaluate their Value Opportunities and develop creative Value Propositions and/or creative ways to communicate with them. Here are some ways to offer value if you can't get a meeting with the DM:
1. Email -- but don't get lulled into doing everything via email
2. Fax or Direct Mail -- remember when we used to do this all the time? Well fewer people are faxing or sending direct mail pieces nowadays, so your message will stand out (if it's a good one). Don't just send your marketing materials; always, always, always include a personal note.
3. Through social media - do they have a Facebook page, Twitter account, or LinkedIn listing?
4. Call before or after hours (when the gatekeeper isn't in)
5. Send them a greeting card -- you can find people's birthdays on many social media outlets
6. Send them a personal item -- if they like jellybeans, drop off a bag for them with a note attached.
7. Send their staff a gift -- we recently sent a customer $1 scratch-off lottery tickets for their staff and it was a real hit.
8. Send them a testimonial letter -- this can work especially well when the testimonial is from a competitor of theirs.
9. Join groups they are a member of -- like the Erie Sales Club!

The Erie Sales Club is a joint effort of four leading local businesses: Jameson Publishing, Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, VertMarkets, and Howland Peterson Consulting.


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