For those of us in B2B sales, marketing and business development it would be wise to remember this idiom from Warren Buffet when communicating with customers about price and value:
“Price is what you pay but value is what you get.”
But is that what most buyers actually believe? Well, it isn’t when it comes to flexing their negotiating muscle. More often than not they say, “I can get the very same thing but cheaper from your competitor!”
Can we get real?
Just because a product or service is similar or even identical to a competitor’s, does not mean that its value is identical. In my experience, anything can be value differentiated enough to make the sale. Anything!
Now, think about this for a minute.
It’s practically impossible for any two suppliers to do the very same thing, the very same way, with the very same processes, same quality control, same ingredients or formulas, and the very same steps, guarantees, storage, delivery, service, field support, or for that matter, provide the very same assurances and peace of mind along with the very same consistency and overall value.
There will be at least one (most often several) points of separation (advantages) between competitors. This means it will come down to the salesperson’s ability to differentiate and communicate a more compelling value proposition than his or her competitor can.
What’s more, of the many advantages that could be emphasized, a decision influencer is actually only attracted to the few benefits that matter most to their situation.
What can you do? First, totally understand your customer’s business by asking good discovery questions to uncover the main value drivers. Second, link your strongest value advantages to the customer’s value drivers. Third, quantify your value by emphasizing the positive difference your solution will provide. Close the opportunity with a value proposition that is tailor-fit to the customer’s specific issues.
Don’t believe for a second that your customer can get the very same thing cheaper from a competitor. Stop lowering your price and start selling your value.