How value-centred is your sales approach?
Most customers will only pay premium prices (or fees) when they see the value of doing so. So how value-centred is your approach to sales? Many of our clients have been surprised by the results of the following questions:
First of all, there is nothing “wrong” with any of the answers above. If you are consistently doing many of them, this is good news. In business-development, most actions are better than none.
However… it’s worth considering:
If most of your answers are a) then you have a strong delivery focus. While this is good, the risk is that you are potentially creating “servant relationships” with your customers. Your infinite patience and flexibility may actually be devaluing your services, rather then enhancing your credibility and profit.
If most of your answers are b) then you have a strong expertise focus. While this was the foundation of many past successes, there is strong evidence that this environment is changing. The advantage conferred by technical superiority is rapidly dwindling. In business as well as society, there is a mood of being “fed up of experts”.
If most of your answers are c) then you do indeed have a value-centred mindset. If this is coupled with good practice around lead-generation, negotiation and customer-management, you have a strong base for future development (both internally and externally).
If most of your answers were d), then you have probably learned your business-development skills in the “relationship economy”; or perhaps you are a natural relationship builder. So far, so good. However, while relationship-builders are usually good at opening doors, there is increasing evidence that they are not as successful at closing B2B sales, particularly complex ones. Furthermore, they often concede too much on price, usually to protect the relationship.
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