Potential buyers typically enter conversations with sales professionals with a bit of hesitation. Everyone has had an interaction with a bad sales rep. Someone who didn’t take the time to assess pain points, identify what your awareness stage was, and, as a result, wasted your time. Great sales professionals win the prospect’s trust because they know how to add value to the buyer’s journey in every interaction while making sure to solve their problem.
To make this more straightforward, we’ve assembled ways to add value at each step in the sales process.
Tips to Add Value to the Buyer’s Journey
- Tailor your value proposition to each potential buyer. When possible, leverage research to focus on a pain point unique to the individual or company. When done right, it can also help you understand the prospect’s priorities. This makes prospects more receptive to your proposed solutions!
- Pay attention to rejections. Excuses prospects give for not taking a call or responding will often provide you with insight into their life. Take notes. Late to a call because they’re homeschooling? Ask how it’s going next time you connect and share an article that may be helpful. Can’t move forward due to budget? Ask them what they’re investing in. The more context you can grab, the easier it is to adjust how you add value to their unique situation.
- Come with research. Buyers rely on vendors for education – whether they like to admit it or not. The more you can help educate your buyer on their space, the more they’ll trust in your assessments. One way to add value to the buyer’s journey is to come with research that will help regardless of if they buy. Set yourself up as someone who will get them the info they need from any source.
- Do a thorough discovery. The more robust your discovery, the easier it will be to integrate that value into every step of the process. Make sure you understand not just the status quo but also where they want to be. The best sales pros will also identify who and how buyers arrived at those assessments.
Proof of Concept – Evaluation
- Offer specific product tips. When a prospect is testing or evaluating your product or service, you can make their lives easier by suggesting particular actions and “pro tips” tailored to their unique needs (identified by that thorough discovery!). This will keep the evaluation as efficient as possible. Plus, it gives you another opportunity to show you’re looking out for your prospect’s time and interests.
- Do what you promise. If you always do what you say you will, it builds you and your company a reputation of trustworthiness. A simple action like saying, “I’ll call you tomorrow at 9 am” – and calling – makes you easier to trust at a subconscious level. Nothing adds value, like following through as promised.
- Head Off objections. It’s usually a good idea to address objections head-on and early. Are you expecting a price pushback? Call it out early. It’s best to leverage your full discovery and offer your evidence to assuage their concerns. This saves time, spurs open discussion, and lets you refocus on the value your product offers.
- Share resources. By this point, you should know a couple of things about who your primary contact is as a person. Make sure to lean on their interests and passions. Ask about how a project at home is going. Offer a restaurant recommendation for a date night they mentioned looking forward to. Share an article you found when looking up a charity they support. Show them with your time (no money needed) that you share their vision for the world.
- Respect hierarchy. While navigating bureaucracy can be a nightmare, you can use it to your advantage. Show your buyers team you respect their authority by looping in your leadership. Reinforce you aren’t trying to “go over your head” by alerting your contacts about your actions. Show you understand the underlying politics, and you add value by making buying decisions as painless as possible.
- Say, “Thank You.” It’s a simple act. A genuine thank you to everyone involved in a sale shows you value them as a human, not as a commission. Getting a customer is hard – keeping them is sometimes harder. Make sure they know they have a “friend” for the life of the business relationship, and you validate their decision to partner with you.
Two final thoughts
A note on what constitutes “Value” in a sales process
Value as a concept can be abstract. In the words of Warren Buffet, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” But let’s get two things clear.
The buyer controls the definition of value.
Every buyer will define what is and isn’t valuable to them. Even if two buyers have the same problem – how they assess and define success will vary. As a sales professional, we can train to influence this process, but we cannot control it.
Information about your product is not value.
Yes – product information is valuable to the sales process. But it is not inherently valuable to the buyer. Product information is only valuable when delivered in a context that recognizes the unique needs of that prospect. Take the time to understand what is behind requests for product information. That’s where the value add opportunity is.
Remember the bigger the change, the bigger the risk
Every buyer is taking a risk whenever they recommend a sale. They’re placing a bet that this tool, product, or service will help them hit their goal and not muck up their process. The more significant the change, the more significant the risk to your buyer’s job security.
Like most sales fundamentals, this may seem elementary stuff, but it’s a skill that requires constant maintenance. The more tricks you have to add value consistently, the easier it becomes to surprise and delight customers.
So, what are your favorite ways to add value in creative ways throughout the sales process? How do you make sure your prospects know you value them? Slide into the comments and let us know!