‘Provide great value’ has been the rallying cry of sales professionals for years. As competition increases, and consumers become more knowledgeable, we’re constantly being told to create more and more value.
For sales professionals being pressured to lower prices or cut commissions, however, ‘more value’ can be a vague and frustrating idea.
In the last post we talked about giving–value in it’s fundamental form. But what should you give? How do you create more value?
The Value Myth
In its simplest form, value isn’t rocket science. When you get more for less, that’s great value. The “baker’s dozen” and the “two-for-one” deal provide value by doing just that. The “half-off” sale provides more value by giving the same “amount”, but cutting the cost.
The trouble arises when we believe that cutting the cost is the only options for delivering value. When sales professionals believe that value is just about getting things cheaper, or getting more of something for less, we call that the Value Myth, and when we believe it, we fall into a trap that leads us to cut prices over and over again, devaluing our services in a race to the bottom.
To escape the myth, we need to understand that the secret to increasing value to others lies not in simply cutting prices, or giving out more donuts per dozen, but something else entirely.
If cost-cutting is a race to the bottom, and your competition is already adding in all the “extras” that have become standard in your industry, how do you deliver more? The answer can be found in what we call unexpected value.
Unexpected Value has three specific characteristics:
1) It’s new to your client or customer
2) It’s surprising or unexpected
3) It becomes a new standard in the customer’s mind – a client can no longer “go back” to their old service or product
When your client gets a free annual report on the value of her home and the trends in her neighbourhood? That’s unexpected value. When a cleaning team arrives on closing day to take care of all those final cleanup tasks? That’s unexpected value.
Unexpected value is about delight. It’s about creating a surprise for every customer, and watching with pride and excitement as it’s unwrapped. It not only brings great joy to you and your clients, but financial rewards, too. Perhaps the best part, though, is that anyone can do it–unexpected value often costs little more than the desire to deliver it to those you serve.
Look at the service you provide. Are you giving people just what they expect? Are you giving them more than they expect?
Or are you giving them something they didn’t expect at all?