A salesperson who does not value their clients is doomed to fail. A common pitfall for many fledgling salespeople – and sometimes overconfident veteran sales professionals– is to become too self-centered.
They only think about what will move them forward in their career, rather than what will help their client the most. This approach will make clients feel like an afterthought and unlikely to seek out your services in the future.
During the world’s current, post-pandemic, economic situation, with the possibility of a recession, businesses must be more frugal. This means salespeople who fail to provide value to their customers will be left out in the cold. To truly become successful as a salesperson, you must show your clients you value them as well as whatever it is you are trying to sell them.
This can be achieved by using the V.A.L.U.E method. This method involves using a checklist of things that you can provide to a client. Here are the five things you need to do to ensure you are providing your clients with something of value:
Validate Your Client’s Problems
When talking to a client about the problem they are facing, do not treat it like it is not important. If you come across as apathetic or worse, annoyed, and hostile that they even brought it up, they will be far less receptive to what you have to say. It shows you only care about what they can give you and that you do not care about them or their problems. If I’s important enough to them that they are trying to fix it, it should be a top priority for you, too.
Show that you care about them and their problems by conducting some research beforehand and then listening to them talk about the challenges their business is facing. Listening, knowing enough about the problem to respond in an educated way, and validating that their problem is important and will go a long way to instilling trust in you.
Articulate Your Solution’s Value
One of the most common pitfalls for any growing business is not having any concrete goals and plans to work towards. However, as outlined by George T. Doran in an old article he wrote for Management Review: “There’s a SMART way to write management goals and objectives.” He then proceeded to break down what SMART goals are; that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time Sensitive.
This strategy has been used by many goal-oriented people – from entrepreneurs to athletes – ever since. The point of this strategy is to make sure your goals are as well-defined as possible, so that you know exactly how and what you need to do to achieve them. It also gives you a plan that is easy to evaluate, allows you to easily tweak it, and ensures that everybody is on the same page.
Learn About Your Client
Before you even start constructing your pitch to your client, do your homework. Learn about the company, its history, its decision-makers, and the problems that they are facing. You can find a lot of this information from websites and from coworkers who may have knowledge of the company. Knowing this information will give you a significant edge when you pitch to them. Never go in blind and try to wing it. Perhaps you’re the smoothest talker on the planet but that’s not going to help you if your customer or client has a very specific problem, and you don’t know anything about it.
In 1973, Peter Drucker, a famous Austrian-American management consultant said: “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well, the product or service sells itself.”
The same way of thinking applies to sales, as marketing and sales pitching are somewhat linked. If you know enough about them and show how your solution can solve their problem, you’ll be far more likely to succeed.
Understand Your Competition
The phrase “know your enemy” applies to sales just as much as it does war and politics. Knowing how your competition is trying to solve the same problems you are will give you an idea of how to make yourself stand out. You may be able to do things that your competition can’t or simply be better at it than they are. Show your client that your service will be able to do things that the competition can’t or won’t do.
Execute With Excellence
Finally, show that you value your clients by doing everything in your power to provide them with the best service possible. Do your best to make sure the product or service you deliver is high quality. If shipping is involved, make sure it reaches them in a timely manner. Be professional and polite, answer whatever questions they may have, and be the best salesperson you can be by showing them you truly value their time.