It is your job to both create value for your clients and capture enough it that you can profitably execute and deliver. These seven ideas will help you to capture more of the value you create.
It’s very difficult to command the price you want when you are behind the client’s buying cycle. If you weren’t there early enough to help them develop their needs, to understand their options, and to build the case for change, you will likely have a difficult time relating your value to your client’s initiative. In short, it’s more difficult to create value once the time for value creation has past. This is one of the reasons it’s so difficult to claim value later. Get in front of the buying cycle.
Sometimes you can’t command the price you need simply because you aren’t creating enough value for your client. You have to help translate what you do into the value proposition that makes you worth paying for. When you hear an objection to price, know that it is really means that you haven’t created enough value to command the price.
If the value that you create can’t be differentiated from your competitors, then it isn’t worth paying more to obtain. The fundamental question you have to answer here is, “What makes you different in a way that makes a difference for your client?” Define those differences in a way that is compelling to your dream clients if you want to capture the value of those differences.
The end-users you sell to when you are low in an organization care deeply about features and benefits. The executive management stakeholders could care less about features and benefits; they want big ideas, new initiatives, and a positive economic impact. It’s important that you build consensus, and that begins with understanding what kind of value each stakeholder (or group) needs from you. Selling the wrong kind of value will destroy your ability to capture value. Match the value to stakeholder’s needs.
There are some prospective clients who don’t yet perceive what you do as being valuable to them. They don’t understand what you offer and how it helps them. They may be wrong. You may have something that will help them produce better results. But if they don’t perceive it as valuable to them, you will never capture any portion of the value you can create. You have to change that perception if you want to capture the value you create.
It isn’t your prospective client’s job to justify your price. That’s your job. If you want to capture some of the value you create, then you need to be able to justify your higher price. What is your client going to be able to do that they can’t do already? How is it going to help them produce better results than any competitive offering? How does the higher price translate to better results exactly? If you can answer these questions, you’re on your way.
If your price is higher because you create more value, know that your client is still going to be asked why they didn’t go with a lower priced provider. It’s your responsibility to arm them with what they need to defend your pricing. Maybe they need an ROI analysis. Maybe they need references. Maybe they need projections. If you want to capture more of the value you create, then you need to help your client defend that value inside his or her own organization. Don’t leave them defenseless.
Anthony Iannarino is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. he has been named one of the top 25 most influential people in sales by both OpenView Partners and Top Sales World. Anthony writes for the magazines SUCCESS and ThinkSales, as well as daily at www.thesalesblog.com.
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