COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | JENNIFER CEYBA

Where did all the value go?

How often do we truly see value or understand what it means to someone else? We all know that the sales game is about finding the value that our prospects are looking for. The problem is finding that value and then overcoming the dreaded price issue.

Everyone tightened their belts during the recession and it is only recently that we begin to see them loosen a bit. Although this is great news, it is still as challenging as ever to find the value that everyone is looking for. Consumers are now inundated with choices.

The simplest Internet search can yield far more results than was ever thought possible. That’s where differentiation comes in. You have learned about differentiation in Sales 101, but do you actually know what makes you different? The key ingredient is to learn what is most important to your potential customer and hone in on those items. Once you have identified them, you can begin to look at value.

Try this: Write down one thing that makes you unique. Look at what you wrote. How is it valuable? Would you be able to sell it to someone? Now consider this: Would you be able to sell it to yourself?

Something that most of us forget is that we are consumers too. So, act like it! Maybe you have to meet your sales quota or are just trying to make ends meet for your family, but you always have to remember this, “Would I buy this from me?”

Remember that trust and value go hand in hand. Not only having trust in the product or service but also trust in the person selling to you. Trust in the person can actually change the perception of value. If you are dealing with a slick salesperson, you will be wary that they are trying to pull the wool over your eyes, even if that is not the case.

The bottom line is that if something is worth the value it represents to you, you will buy in. Remember that now more than ever: Value ties directly to the bottom line of every organization — and every personal budget.

Follow-through is equally important to assessing value. Have you ever been sold on something only to find out that you have no idea how to use it and the salesperson has conveniently disappeared? It is one thing to show someone that their new purchase has great potential, but it is imperative that you show them how it actually works for them.

The key is to tie the transaction with a pretty bow and ensure that no one is left wondering what just happened to them.

Through a keen sense of what is important to your customer and trust in your product, you can create great relationships that will foster repeat business. Remember, word of mouth and return customers can make or break you.

Ceyba is a leasing specialist for PMB Real Estate Services, a property management company specializing in medical offices. She is a member of CREW San Diego.

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