Value-based selling is a big buzzword in sales. And for good reason! We should be selling our VALUE and not the tangible features (or even benefits) of our products or services.
But I’m going to zoom in a bit today. I want to focus on Value vs. ROI, which is going to require you to shift your thinking some.
First off, ROI is great. If you can promise your customers a massive ROI and deliver on it, then more power to you. Your product or service will pretty much sell itself.
But what if you’re like the vast majority of business owners or managers and you can’t promise massive ROI, but you can still deliver value for your customers? If that’s you, then you’re in a great place for leverage.
It’s all about framing. So let’s jump right into it.
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Value Trumps Price
When you frame your offer as a value-generator, price becomes a non-issue. That is, if you effectively communicate the VALUE you offer, your prospect doesn’t see a big price tag and a sizeable dent in their budget, instead they see a no-brainer investment.
So it’s best not to frame your product or service as an ROI generator first. Instead, focus on the value-transformation that takes place over time. The truth is, people prize value-based offers more than ROI-based offers. Don’t believe me? Think about all the things people spend money on that don’t provide a tangible return on their investment.
Here are a few examples:
- Family vacation with lots of quality time
- A broadway show or concert
- Diamond engagement ring
- Ballgame with your boy
- And other experiences
What’s interesting is that each of these examples costs money, takes time, requires effort on your part, and they are STILL among the most important experiences in life that people truly value and pay money for. (Now, you could argue that they do produce an ROI, but the point is that you would still do all of these things even if a return wasn’t promised!)
Business leaders are willing to spend their budgets on value-laden products or services that can improve their brand, streamline a process, lessen headaches, save time, improve communications, and the list goes on. None of which have a specific bottom-line ROI to speak of, other than the fact that they add value through and through.
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Frame ROI as Value
Now let’s say you can also promise ROI to your prospects… and you can deliver on that promise.
Should you sell it? Should you sell a 5x or 10x return, or whatever it might be? Absolutely! But here’s the kicker, you should couch it in VALUE.
Money is nice, but what’s even nicer is what that money can do for you (or your prospect in this case).
So, for instance, you can say something like “Our existing customers are making an average of $200 for every $50 they spend with us, so you can expect a return like this. Now I want you to think about what that can do for the growth of your company. You mentioned you wanted to scale into new markets and make waves in the industry. Working with us can help you reach those goals by end of Q4.”
The ROI = 4x
The Value = Scaling into new markets and making waves in the industry with loads of brand recognition.
See why we reframe ROI to speak to VALUE? Can you guess which sells better? Value. Value trumps price and ROI. But value + ROI is a winning combination when communicated effectively with confidence and tonality.
One caveat is that you should never promise ROI if you can’t deliver on it. Word will get around and your reputation will suffer. And trust me, your reputation is far more important in the long run than a won deal in the short term. Plus you’ll have to deal with customer churn, bad reviews, and the list goes on.
Unfortunately, you will see this sort of thing everywhere in business. But again, you must hold yourself to a standard of excellence that doesn’t allow this. Thankfully, if you read this article, you’ll know that you don’t have to promise ROI. People work with companies all the time that don’t deliver a dollar-for-dollar return.
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Sell The Outcome, Not the Product
You’ve heard the old adage in sales “sell the benefits, not the features.” And this holds true today. It’s always better to sell benefits than features. But when we take this a step further, it’s better to sell the outcome than it is to sell benefits. The outcome is a new way of life, a better future, a better business.
This will look different for every company and even every offer. But there has to be a unique outcome that you can promise to your prospects. What changes in your prospect’s life a year or two down the road from today? How are they better off? Which goals and dreams did you help them achieve? What outcome can you promise?
This isn’t always easy to identify. So I recommend taking a full morning or afternoon really thinking about this from within the context of your company and offering. Don’t take this lightly, either. It’s one of those force-multiplying changes that you can make TODAY to completely transform your business this year and beyond.
Final Words on Value Selling
Value-based selling, combined with a masterful handle on speech tonality, will skyrocket your sales. You just need to remember that not all things need a dollar-for-dollar ROI. But there does need to be intrinsic transactional value. In other words, there has to be a reason why your customer buys. There needs to be a desired outcome, passionately communicated, and a clear before/after you can sell.
So get out there and share your value with the world.
Until next time…