There’s value in selling value
Selling value often takes more thought and time than just figuring out how many hours it will take to perform a task, putting together an estimate and presenting the cost to a customer. But it’s creativity, expertise and knowledge that are really your greatest assets and differentiators. It’s those that you should be selling, not just price. After all, if you’re selling on price alone, chances are there’s someone else out there who can do it for cheaper.
To sell your value, first determine what is your value. Your answer may change, depending on your customer and what you’re working on. What do you bring beyond the nuts and bolts of fulfilling the specific tasks of a project? Do you have valuable industry experience that puts you and your customer ahead of the game? Do you have past success with other similar projects that you can tout?
Value can also be discovered by identifying all the things you normally do that your customer may not realize. Do you take special measures to ensure your work is error-free? Do you have creative strategy sessions with the top-level thinkers in the company? If your team is quick to respond to requests or questions, make sure your customers know they’re doing business with a team they won’t have to track down or wait days to hear back from. Believe it or not, this kind of reassurance can make all the difference.
Think about the nicest restaurant you’ve ever been to. What makes it so special? The food? The ambiance? The people who work there? It’s likely many different elements. And when it all comes together, you’re presented with more than just food on a plate and a check at the end; it’s an entire experience, and the best restaurants convey the value of that experience. When they do it successfully, patrons are willing to pay more and return again and again.
Determining value can be challenging, but once you figure it out, it’s important to make sure everyone understands it and knows how to articulate it to others. The more those around you understand the value you bring as a company, the more likely they’ll be able to confidently communicate it.
All of this also applies to selling your value as a person. You might feel as though your supervisor should have noticed that you put in extra time on a project, or that you came up with a new way to do something that will save your business time and money, or that you created a new idea for a client and made them even more loyal to your company. But the reality is that as fast as the world runs, you shouldn’t expect that everything you do is going to get the attention it deserves. So what’s the answer? Sell your value. Make sure others know you happily went the extra mile on a particular project. Or tell a customer when you did something extra on a project that added value.
In the end, if a customer is concerned with price alone, they’ll be hard to satisfy, disloyal and uninterested in building a lasting relationship. If the lowest price is all they’re after, what’s to prevent them from going with another company if they’re a few dollars cheaper? Absolutely nothing. Invest your time in people who appreciate the value you bring and see beyond the dollar signs. It’s more inspiring to work with those who recognize and appreciate value.