Ride-sharing service Lyft and potash producer Mosaic Corporation each understand this. Lyft promises convenient punctuality: “Rides in minutes.” Mosaic promises to “help the world grow the food it needs.” Each value statement puts customer benefits ahead of features in the product or service they’re selling. They focus on identifying a need or a problem that the customer has, and on why their product or service matters to them.
They know this by listening to their customers and by not just running with whatever the marketing department generates on its own.
In my experience monitoring sales calls and listening to qualification processes worldwide, sellers often forget (or are scared) to ask about value. It’s too bad, because this is an easy and highly profitable questioning practice.
There’s a sequence of questions that have to be asked. They don’t have to be asked all at once, but you need answers to each point before you can make a winning presentation.
1. What are your objectives? What do you aim to do with this product or service you’re buying from us?
2. How will you measure success? What metrics will determine if your purchase from us has met your objectives?
3. What will you gain from a successful experience doing business with us? Not just as an organization, but personally.
4. How will you decide which proposals is the right one for you (if they have more than one provider to pick from)?