Changes in Today’s Marketplace #14
This is the fourteenth and final in a series of what has changed in customer perceptions and resultant buying behaviors.
Change #14 – Value is Defined Solely by the Buyer, Not the Seller
This change may at first glance seem out of synch with current sales processes. If that is your thought, you are correct. Current sales processes rely heavily on the articulation of (and well-worn) features and attendant generic benefits of various products and services. In the past, these were usually enough to move consumers to a purchase decision. Not any more! Sales presentations today must fully articulate that you have what buyers really want as an outcome, if they are going to recognize the value and not object to the price or fee.
Consequently, in this new “the consumer rules” era, sales presentations and mindsets then must shift fully to the consumer perspective. In every presentation, only one perspective matters – theirs. Not yours, not the company’s, only their perspective. The challenge, of course, is to know what changes need to be made to actual sales presentations to fully integrate the consumers’ perspective and to articulate value in their language.
Consumers today want a truly personalized and humanized presentation that focuses solely on what they can functionally accomplish and how they can benefit personally, from the features/attributes of your product or service. Consequently, to communicate value in a way that it is clearly defined for the prospect in their language requires the change to an advantage based selling approach. An advantage based approach means listing every feature/attribute of your product/service and then identifying what consumers actually accomplish functionally with that attribute/feature. This is then followed by crafting the real emotional benefit they will receive as a result.
As an example:
If you provide “A certified financial plan” then what people actually accomplish functionally is, “we organize your assets in a tax-efficient manner” and the emotional benefit is, “you can focus on your life’s passions.”
This is far, far different than a feature/benefit approach, i.e.: “we provide a certified financial plan so you can focus on your life’s passions.”
Make no mistake, people buy what they will accomplish.
If you sell copiers: the feature/attribute is “We have a 5 year, all-inclusive, service plan and warranty on this copier,” their advantage, i.e. what they will accomplish, is “You will not have any additional expenses for maintenance, service during the next 5 years,” and the personalized benefit is, “You enjoy worry-free and expense-free ownership!”
No expenses for 5 years? Wow!
By listing every feature or attribute of your business and its products and services and then defining from the customer’s perspective what they actually accomplish with it functionally, you convey value from their perspective they “see the value as they define it.” Then by articulating the emotional benefit they receive, you ensure acceptance.
You must make sure every functional advantage of your products and services are crystal clear to the buyer. It is critically important to leave nothing to chance. There is no room in this noisy hectic world in which you market and sell, to “hope they get it” or “assume they do.” Rather take your time with each prospect. Emphasize the advantage! If you do, they will get it and buy from you.
This concludes this series of things that have currently changed in today’s marketplace.
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