The Concept Of Value-Added Selling
10 Ways that Your Salespeople Can Add Value to Your Product Or Service
The concept of value-added selling has been a popular one for a number of years. It's more important now than ever before for your salespeople to be building value in the eys of your prospects and customers.
In today’s market place--where so many products and services are viewed as a commodity--the ability to add value to your product or service is an absolute necessity. There is no doubt that in the absence of value-added components virtually any solution can be driven down to the most bottom line – price. The problem? When you're only selling price you’ll never be able to sell any degree of high margin sales and that is where profitability, long-term growth and sales success resides.
Let’s take a look at 10 ways that you can add value to your solution no matter what it is you sell.
1. Expert advice and a high-level of professionalism
Lots of consulting organizations, accounting firms, and even medical professionals are paid a tidy sum for the level of advice that they provide. In order for your salespeople to provide value, however, they must be providing advise and strategic support that is higher, more sophisticated, and more valuable than that of your competition. What this means is that your salepseople must be keeping up with the latest industry best practices, and positioning themselves as subject matter experts.
2. Bundling and packaging
I’m not only talking here about the way your product or service actually looks. I’m also talking about being able to put together desirable packages, purchasing levels, and a series of added benefits that are significant in value. These add-ons increase the value of simply the product or service itself, and can work to differentiate you from the competition.
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.
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!
5. Transition and education
As new customers come on stream with your organization 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. This provides an added level of customer satisfaction and strengthens the long-term relationship. By the same token, the more education they have related to those products or services the more capable they’ll be at utilizing them.
6. Recognition and reward levels
This is somewhat different from frequent buyer programs. With this particular concept behind value-added, 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 your customers are recognized for being excellent customers. Several years ago we included a Hall of Fame in our newsletter and we 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 a customer's level of purchase, involvement, or interaction, you provide higher quality of products, and other extras. Those can include a more sophisticated level of service, dedicated personnel, dedicated phone lines, fax lines, etc. These extras make your best customers feel appreciated, and improve the liklihood of repeat business and a long-term relationshipo with your company.
You may even be able to use this for introductory customers as a value-added component.
8. Dedicated personnel
This works particularly well if you have a technical product or service or one that requires support. It's not difficult to understand that the more someone is familiar with another person’s account, products, machinery, equipment, or way of doing business, it is far easier to do business with that organization. In this scenario, you simply assign dedicated account people to handle your customer’s accounts personally.
9. Speed of service or delivery
One of the ways to differentiate yourself is to guarantee some sort of on time or faster delivery. It is very well known and accepted 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 stocks, bonds, financial information, or anything related to information or time specific data. You may want to include this info in a customer newsletter.
These 10 ways to add value can all be easily applied in your sales team's day-to-day selling activity. It requires creativity, innovation, and a willingness to out-work your competition--but it can be done if your salespeople focus on the customer and build the value of working with your company.
Being customer-focused starts with a consultative selling process, like IMPACT Selling®. The award-winning sales process is now available in an eLearning format--placing sales effectiveness at your sellers' fingertips. Learn more and get a demo of the program here.