There’s an old saying in poker, “you don’t play the cards, you play the person.” This undoubtedly applies to sales process as well—it’s not so much about what you sell, but rather who you’re selling to. You might have the slickest product ever made, but if the person you’re selling to doesn’t see the value in it, it’s an exercise in futility.
Which begs the question: why do people buy your product or service? That’s an easy enough question, but the answer can be a little convoluted. And unfortunately, not having a firm grasp on that answer can stagnate growth, frustrate your team, and even sink your company’s future.
But have no fear! We’re going to unpack the three reasons why your clients buy from you and how knowing what they are can instantly increase your B2B sales.
Here we go…
1) Revenue Gain
This is the easiest to conceptualize and quantify. How much revenue does your client potentially stand to gain by doing business with you? For example, if you own a staffing agency and provide talented workers to your client, there’s a much higher likelihood that they now have the capacity to take on new business because they’re fully staffed. Because they’ve done business with you, you’ve given them the ability to increase their revenue. Simple enough. Let’s move on to the second reason.
2) Cost Reduction
Another economic value comes in the form of cost reductions. How much does your client potentially stand to save in costs by doing business with you? For example, if you provide software that allows your clients to digitize their new employee training process, there’s a high probability that you’re able to save them money by reducing the amount of hours spent by trainers, reducing the total time taken to train new employees, and potentially even reduced employee error rates. These economic reasons for companies to do business with you are pretty straightforward and easy to understand. The third reason? Not so much.
3) Emotional Contribution
In their book Value-Based Pricing: Drive Sales and Boost Your Bottom Line by Creating, Communicating and Capturing Customer Value, authors Harry Macdivitt and Mike Wilkinson discuss a form of value creation that’s less straightforward than revenue gains and cost reduction—something they call emotional contribution. Emotional contributions to value are the non-economical things that have the ability to significantly increase or decrease the perceived value of your product. These might include risk mitigation, peace of mind, personal gain, or simplicity—just to name a few. These items are far more difficult to quantify, but they can also have the greatest amount of power when it comes to influencing a purchase—namely because emotion is involved more so than it is in revenue gain and cost reduction. Think of it this way, an actor might take part in a movie directed by Steven Spielberg because of the prestige it might bring… or a Fortune 500 company might hire McKinsey and Company to audit their business because they believe they’re the best and most likely to mitigate risk… you get the point.
Whether you’re creating value though revenue gains, cost reduction, or emotional contributions, it’s of critical importance to know which of these your product creates, as well as which your client values most. In doing so, you can be sure that you’re not just selling “the slickest product ever made”, but also why that’s of value to your client. Tailor your sales pitch to the specific value your client desires and watch as your sales grow significantly.
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