Surviving and thriving in the modern world of business, means determining, defining and delivering a competitive value proposition to your customers.
As I work with sales teams both in South Africa and abroad, I am amazed how quickly they respond to the question, “Why should I buy from you?” with a somewhat vanilla “because of my personal service.” Whilst service is to be commended, the research shows that that customers tend to punish bad service more readily than they reward delightful service. Delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty, rather reducing your customers’ effort –the work they must do to get their problem solved- does.
So this brings us the question of competitive advantage and the concept first developed by Bates Advertising group- the notion of the unique selling proposition (USP). As a sales person, if you can confidently answer the “what’s in it for me?” question clearly and concisely for your customer, then you move your sales communication from features-based to benefits-based selling.
Whilst product and market knowledge is crucial, customer understanding and taking the time to conduct a comprehensive needs analysis is even more so.
Then linking this information to a compelling value proposition is where the real selling takes place.Completing differentiating statements such as “many customers are particularly impressed with. . . “, “our difference lies in. . .” and “unlike others in the market we…” can go a long way to helping you clarify and crystallize not just how to communicate value, but also to create it.
Andy Brough is a Chartered Marketer and International Sales trainer. Contact andyb[at]andrewbrough[dot]com or ring 0832274318 for more information on customized sales training that sells.