This week, I’m following up on ideas from a previous video and providing specific plans to combat the macro events that are influencing selling today. As I mentioned last week, one of the drivers that companies are seeing is that selling has just become harder. There’s inflation, there’s supply chain disruption. There are employee and staffing issues. The war in Ukraine, all of these things have created a series of macro events that have made selling harder. And Where does that leave us? Well, here at The Brooks Group, we believe that the way companies are going to get out of this is to sell their way through it. I’ve identified five key things that can help us get there. And today, I want to break down one of those in particular, and that is the idea of value selling.
Recently, we released a book coauthored by Michelle Richardson and Russ Sharer: Agile & Resilient: Sales Leadership for the New Normal, which mentions a trend that is happening. B2B buyers are really being influenced by the B2C world. I also read an article in the Wall Street Journal this past weekend written by Sarah Nassauer entitled Shoppers are Fretting. Stores are Listening. The author brought in some really interesting examples of what is happening in the B2C world. Specifically, there were three things that she referenced that caught my attention:
- Walmart is changing its milk packaging and offering more half-gallon packages to make it more affordable.
- Michael’s is now starting to promote less expensive tools in their marketing messaging.
- Procter and Gamble is starting to talk about their packaging designed to allow you to use the very last drop of dish soap.
These examples of impact in the B2C world, such as product selection, pricing, and marketing have all been influenced by the realities of the world that we’re living in, and provide examples of what all businesses need to be doing to sell their way out of this malaise.
I think there are five things that B2B sellers need to do to be successful value sellers.
- Sellers need to identify the pain that their clients are going through. How do they do that? They can utilize good questioning and really listen well. They can prepare better with good pre-call planning.
- Sellers need to be able to quantify the value. What is the value they are bringing? Once the pain clients are experiencing has been identified, addressing how that pain can be fixed in today’s world may be different than in the past. That might be as simple as on-time delivery or being able to predict when the delivery is going to happen. Another article Wall Street Journal published recently was addressing the rolling blackouts that are expected in the state of Michigan this summer. It had me thinking about the ability to solve these problems, and the opportunities it presents to sellers.
- Sellers should be working to become trusted advisors. This also plays on the ability to ask good questions, but it really speaks to a longer-term relationship. It doesn’t mean swooping in and becoming a trusted advisor. It’s really knowing who the client is, what their strategic goals are, and how you can start to solve those conundrums that they’re in. In short, it is ensuring that you have a good sales process in place and it is being followed.
- Companies should be working to develop marketing messaging that speaks to their value and the solutions that they create, solve or bring to bear.
- Companies should examine their pricing. Walmart has shown us that going from gallons to half gallons is a pricing solution that works for their B2C world. We all have pricing decisions we can make that could help us solve and present ourselves as much more of a value solution in the marketplace. What is your half-gallon option?
I believe these five solutions will help you position yourself as a value solution to clients and to help your company sell its way through the current environment. As a value seller, I would love to discuss this, and I am happy to debate it as always, you can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.