The Concept Of Value-Added Selling 10 Ways That You Can Add Value To Your Product Or Service

The Brooks Group

The concept of value-added selling has been a popular one for a number of years. In fact, I have lots of friends who claim that they are the inventors of the concept known as value-added selling. I guess that’s kind of like lots of people who claim to have invented the Internet!

The real issue, though, is that in today’s market place where so many products and services are viewed as a commodity, the ability to add value to your product or service is an absolute necessity. There is no doubt that in the absence of value-added components virtually any product or service can be driven down to the most bottom line – price. The problem? When you are only selling price you’ll never be able to sell any degree of high margin sales and that is where profitability, long term growth and sales success resides.

Let’s take a look at 10 ways that you can add value to your product or service no matter what it is you sell. Lots of times people argue with me by saying you don’t understand, my product is different, or my service is different. The truth is that everything can have value-added. So let’s go ahead and take a look at 10 specific ways that you can do it.

1.Providing expert advice and a tremendously high level of professionalism. Lots of consulting organizations, accounting firms and even medical professionals are paid a tidy sum for the level of advice that they provide. However, for you as a sales professional, in order for you to be able to provide value, what you need to do is to understand that you have to provide a level of advice that is significantly higher, more sophisticated and a lot more valuable than that of your competition. What this means is a higher level of sophistication, wisdom and understanding about what it is that you do.

2.Bundling and packaging.  I’m not only talking here about the way your product or service actually looks, I’m also talking about being able to put together desirable packages, purchasing levels and a series of added benefits that are significant in value and are, themselves, a whole lot more valuable than simply the product is by itself.

3.Service levels. It is possible for you to differentiate yourself not only by providing a higher level of service but by adding different levels of service based upon someone’s size, frequency or amount of purchase. For example, you may want to have gold or platinum or silver levels of service that people qualify for, are willing to pay for, and receive when they do business with you.

4.Frequent buyer programs. This is tied into the concept that the more someone buys from you the more valuable service, pricing, benefits and related items they receive. It is somewhat like frequent flyer miles with an airline. I know people who actually fly thousands of miles out of their way to stay on one particular airline only because they want to build up the miles!

5.Transition and education. As new customers come on stream with your organization you may want to provide action or transition teams to help them to be better able to utilize the products or services that you sell them. By the same token, the more education they have related to those products or services the more capable they’ll be at utilizing them.

6.Recognition and reward levels. This is somewhat different from frequent buyer programs in that with this particular concept behind value-added you actually provide recognition to clients or customers based upon their ability to utilize your product or service, maximize its potential, buy certain levels from you, etc. What this means is that they themselves are recognized for being outstanding customers. Several years ago we included a Hall of Fame in our newsletter and we had lots of clients very interested in appearing and becoming a part of our Hall of Fame. It’s a fantastic way to utilize good relationships and good will.

7.Qualitative preference. Based upon someone’s level of purchase, involvement or interaction, you provide higher quality of products, perhaps a more sophisticated level of service, dedicated personnel, dedicated phone lines, fax lines, or the like, that gives them a greater opportunity to be treated better than the run of the mill customer happens to be. You may even be able to use this for introductory customers as a value-added component.

8.Dedicated personnel. This works particularly well if you have a technical product or service or one that requires support. It is not difficult to understand that the more someone is familiar with another person’s account, products, machinery, equipment or way of doing business, it is far easier to do business with that organization. In this scenario, you simply assign dedicated account people to handle your customer’s accounts personally.

9.Speed of service or delivery. One of the ways to differentiate yourself is to guarantee some sort of on time or faster delivery. It is very well known and accepted that on time delivery is a key component for charging full or maximum pricing. It is also a component as it relates to providing value-added services and products.

10.Insider information. This is very common when people are selling information as it relates to stocks, bonds, financial information or anything related to information or time specific data. Utilizing this process you may want to consider a regular newsletter (electronic or printed) that updates customers on a regular basis as it relates to very key and important information that they have to have.

These 10 ways to add value can all be applied to you in your day-to-day sales activity. There is little doubt that it requires creativity, innovation and a willingness to out-work your competition. But the real sad truth is that if you continue to sell the way you always have, price will continue to rule and I guarantee you that you’ll have a competitor that will take one or several of these 10 ideas and put them into place. Your challenge? Do it before they do it! As the famous confederate general, Nathan Bedford Forrest once said following a battle, “I won because I got there firstest with the mostest!” You need to do the same thing.

© The Brooks Group – Any unauthorized duplication, distribution or any other use of this material except for expressly intended purpose is strictly forbidden by law.

Cross-Selling Takes Teamwork

by: John Boe

Progressive companies understand the power of cross-selling and recognize it as a critical component for promoting both customer retention and revenue growth. What is cross-selling? Cross-selling is nothing more than team-selling with other specialists within your company, all working in partnership on behalf of the customer’s best interest. It is a proactive, ongoing sales process designed to provide your existing customers with a full range of your company’s products and services. The good news is, cross-selling is one of the most profitable and least risky endeavors a company can undertake. The bad news is, if your cross-selling program is not properly administered and monitored you run the risk of losing customers and creating conflict within your sales team.

Not surprisingly, two of the key elements that make cross-selling work are trust and convenience. Your customers already possess a degree of trust in your company, and this can be converted into additional sales that are not directly related to their existing products. Some might suggest that customers are irritated by cross-selling and perceive it as an aggressive sales approach. Interestingly enough, consumer research indicates that the reverse is actually true. Most customers prefer a full spectrum of products and services and appreciate the convenience that is provided through a comprehensive cross-selling approach.

Stop Breaking a Sweat During Your Cold Calling

By Mike & Joe: The Sales Action Plan… Sales Blog and Sales Podcast

Use Prospecting to Target Your Cold Calls More Effectively

Let’s just face it. As a sales professional, cold calling probably isn’t your favorite thing to do. It’s something that you do because you absolutely need to in order to keep your business running smoothly. You probably run through your list of potential clients as quickly as possible and then call it a day with one adept wipe of your forearm across your brow to remove the accumulated sweat. Have you ever considered the possibility that that solitary generic sales pitch that you’ve been using just isn’t working?

You might earn a few sales in the short run by using a standard cold calling sales pitch, but this is definitely not the best long term sales plan. You can actually save yourself quite a bit of trouble and make a lot more money if you start using your cold calls like sniper bullets instead of shot gun rounds, making sure that each one is custom fired to hit it’s target and specifically address that unique customer’s concerns. First of all, this means educating yourself on a regular basis. You need to gain cold calling expertize from experts when ever you get a chance. Talking to the top sellers in your organization, visiting sales planning websites like SalesRoundup.com, and reading books about cold calling and complex sales, should all be on the top of your weekly list of things to do. However, for now, this article will serve as an introduction to this more effective type of cold calling and get you started in the right direction.

If you want to halt that forehead sweat before it even starts here are a couple of  key pointers that can help you to work smarter instead of harder every time that you pick up that phone to make a cold call.

Are Your Salespeople Jerks or Just Different From You?

Dave Kurlan is a top-rated speaker, best-selling author, sales thought leader and highly regarded sales development expert.
People are different.  Your salespeople are different.  Their prospects are different.  The more we understand their differences and learn to work with those differences, the more effective we can become.

Welcome to the June Edition of SalesJournal! Street Talk

Has anyone ever really listened to the words to “Rocket Man” by Elton John? Every time I hear this song I relate it back to my core audience; the traveling Sales Pro and Sales Leader.  Check out the lyrics below and next time you hear it, tell me if it touches a piece of who you are.

She packed my bags last night pre-flight, zero hour nine a.m.
And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then
I miss the earth so much I miss my wife, It’s lonely out in space
On such a timeless flight

And I think it’s gonna be a long long time ’till touch down brings me round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home oh no no no, I’m a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids, in fact it’s cold as hell
And there’s no one there to raise them if you did
And all this science I don’t understand, It’s just my job five days a week
A rocket man, a rocket man

And I think it’s gonna be a long long time…

Featured June Position

Incredible Sales Leadership position for world-changing, third generation digital media client.

Our client is known for having the #1 Harry Potter site in the world and since then has developed an exclusive network of sites with millions of returning visitors, daily.  Now it’s time to capture those visitors and develop an online advertising strategy to take this business to the next level.   Be the “Sales Leadership Guru” that sets strategy and execution plans while working hands-on to achieve revenue targets.  We will consider Senior Sales Reps if they have a strategic mind.  Reports directly to the CEO and offers a competitive base plus commission program.

We are interviewing NOW.
Networking referrals are always welcome–$500.00 reward if they’re hired. (take it to the bank or go purchase your latest gadget crush)

Interested?
Email us at resumes@navigarecruiting.com.

Visit our many nationwide Sales & Marketing positions to stay on top of what’s availalable. Our clients are some of the most amazing and progressive companies across the nation.

As always, thank you for reading Sales Journal!

Best Regards,

Kathleen Steffey