Written by Sean McPheat |
I met with a prospect not long ago and we spoke at length about his concerns and how he needed his salespeople to move away from the status quo and start bringing in more sales. Without that happening, he may have to make redundancies.
After discussing what we could do to assist him, he asked a question that is subliminally being asked by every buyer we meet; that is, “How can you justify the value you say you offer?”
It’s a very good question, the answer to which can make or break a sale.
The prospect basically wants you to prove that what you are offering will bring a better return on his investment than someone else doing the job or not doing anything at all.
So, it’s always good to have a plan on how you can justify the investment the prospect will be making. And the best way to do this is to ensure the prospect owns it – that is, he or she perceives the value through their own eyes rather than yours. Of course, your product is the best thing on the planet, knocking the competition sideways but if the customer doesn’t believe that, then it isn’t. Period. Sorry.
Ask yourself these five questions before you discuss justifying the value of your offering:
1) Which parts of the buyer’s business will be affected, impacted and measured by using your products?
2) Who is the main stakeholder in the department(s) that will be most affected by your services?
3) What will be the impact of your solution and over what time period?
4) What back-up facilities will be needed that you can provide?
5) How quickly will the investment be covered and how soon will they actually make money on what you are selling?
These can then be broken down so the buyer sees the value in the areas that are most important to them. For example, the parts of the buyer’s business that might be affected could include profits, reduction in costs, increased revenues, cost-avoidance, intangible benefits, etc.
The importance of involving the affected stakeholder in the decision-making process will be obvious when you discuss what the returns will be, using their figures not yours.
You should be able to prove the figures you quote from case studies or experiences that can be proved. Also, analyse over what time period the buyer will be looking at to gain a clearer picture of when they wish to see the returns on their investment.
If your back-up services can justify the initial spend, then there will be specific items that will prove their worth in the long term.
Buyers want to know when the break-even/profitability point will be reached. This is when the cumulative total benefits, including the increase in revenues and the reduction in costs, exceed the cumulative investments made to gain and implement the products and services that you have offered.
When all of these elements have been assessed by the buyer and seen to be favourably in their advantage, you will be able to justify the initial investment, which now becomes less important than ever, because they see the value of your solution over the period of time that will mean so much to them.
Originally published: 29 July, 2014