selling value instead of costIf you start talking cost of your product or service too early in your sales discussion, you may lose the sale before it’s begun. That’s because you need to uncover your prospect’s problem and determine how your product can help them solve it before you ever start to haggle about the price of your product. The price will always seem too high until you know how to help them, but unfortunately, most people don’t start out solving the problem before hand. By selling value over price, you can do just that.

First, if your customer asks your fee up front, try to put off your response. If your prospective customer leads off by saying, “How much do you charge?”, respond by answering, “Let me get to know a little more about you and your company before I answer that, so I can judge my fee accordingly.” Fees may be consistent, but they may be relevant to the size of the company you are working for, and what you are doing for the company, so you need to understand the company and what they require before you can quote a fee.

Your ultimate goal is to control the sales conversation and the only way you can do that is to ask high-value questions. The specific questions you must ask will vary according to the type of solutions your company offers. You must invest enough time learning about your prospect’s situation so you can effectively offer your company’s solutions. This sounds simple, but many sales people do not ask the right questions to effectively offer the right solutions.

You need to learn how the problems they are facing affect the performance of the company. This can be expressed in sales, profits, employee turnover, customer retention, market share, or other areas. Learn to ask tough questions that will help you understand the impact of the problem. Many sales people are uncomfortable asking these questions, but they will help you close the sale, and your prospects will respect you if you ask them. Ask questions such as “What is that costing you in terms of profitability, lost sales, customer loyalty, market share,” or “How is that affecting?” or “How important is that compared to other projects you have on your plate right now?”

Once you’ve figured out the importance of the particular problem, you can demonstrate the value of your particular product or service to your customer. This is when you can give a cost to you customer, and not before. Sure, this approach takes time, and patience. You have to clearly demonstrate why your product is worth the investment. When you demonstrate why it’s worth it, it will seem fair and equitable.

Use this method to justify your product, and you’ll make more sales.

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