Creating Customer Value

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

The marketplace is noisy, filled with commodities of all sorts, pitched to the masses, often using low price as the seductive hook.

When the objective is to get orders, as many as possible, quickly and easily, then offering a low price can attract the crowd. Low price is obvious, direct and easy to evaluate for these buyers; its benefit is the same for everyone.

If your growth strategy is to market your offering as a commodity, then selling on price is a simple, effective strategy. But it’s a one trick pony, discounting your expertise and requiring that you resellyourself with each transaction.

On the other hand, if you seek to grow your business by marketing solutions to customer problems, creating trust and building relationships that generate recurring orders with customers, then discovering what your customer values, in addition to their stated need, is the key to this strategy’s success. 

Because each customer defines value differently, there’s an opportunity to focus your unique knowledge and expertise on delivering the exact benefits needed to create the customer’s value, those benefits generated by your product or service. Resolving a short-term pain in a manner that contributes to the customer’s progress converts a transaction into an investment in the customer’s future, strengthening your relationship. 

Discovering what a customer values does require more time and energy to learn why resolving a customer’s short-term need is important for their long-term success. This discovery process begins by clarifying the customer’s current circumstances and needs, then probing why resolving these needs is important, and finally, identifying barriers that are inhibiting resolution. It’s a discovery dialogue that provides an opportunity to leverage your experience and competency in proposing solutions that overcome these obstacles to create value for the customer. 

Selling to create value for customers strengthens the sustainability of your customer relationships, and your business.

How might your ability to sell value be strengthened?

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