Owning your value – one client at a time.
You know the moment; you’ve been dreading it. The client or customer says “I really like your product / concept / program, but it’s more than I intended to spend”. What happens in that moment when you feel you’re heading into the unchartered waters of a negotiation that will see you reduce your price? For most people their sense of choice starts to reduce – I need the work, or the sale so I’ll have to put up with them paying less, even though it will mean a reduction in the margin I require to create a sustainable business.
My sales mentor, David Penglase, would say “You haven’t clearly defined the value in a way that is meaningful to the buyer throughout the sales process”. Yes, you have convinced them there is value in the product or service – they’re not quibbling that what they’ll get is worthwhile; they’re quibbling about the price point.
This is where it gets interesting – because this is really a matter of perception. You know the value of what you provide, you’ve sold it to others (if you haven’t then maybe you do need to analyse what the market is prepared to pay). You’ve received feedback that the client was pleased with the purchase, so what is really going on?
This is the moment where you get to choose to Own Your Value – rather than enter into a discussion regarding price, the discussion can be refocused to address the buyer’s understanding of the value they’ll receive in the context of the issue or opportunity they want to address. It’s all about communication – what will happen as a result of buying your product or service? What will it change or solve for them? How do they equate the value of that change or solution?
What’s really going on here? If I acknowledge that I’m responsible for the sales process and that all my interactions are in some way a mirror for what is occurring within me, then what is really happening is that I have not yet owned my value in a way that is communicated and believable to me, or to the buyer. The next step is to acknowledge my own internal belief and to consciously work on truly owning who I am and the value I provide.
Push-back on price is my unconscious creation – somewhere along the way I simply haven’t clearly explained the value in a way that is meaningful for the buyer and now I have a opportunity to really listen to the subtle, deeper questions that require answers before this client goes ahead.
Once I get that internal dialogue clear, I can then have a frank conversation with the buyer, acknowledge that I haven’t yet communicated the value sufficiently and that I’d like to work through their issue or opportunity, my suggested approach and see where there are any gaps. If I let go about making this sale, and treat the interaction as a learning experience I get to see how I created the original push-back and how to navigate the process differently next time.
The great value in this for me is that I get clearer about how to position the value of what I do and offer and I deeply own the value so that next time my approach is calm and considered, I listen and I’m less attached to the outcome and more involved in the process of really connecting with what is important to this client at this time. It’s no longer about selling something it’s about being open and working with the client to find that point of recognisable value.
Written By Fiona Pearman
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Shared with permission of Fiona Pearman, Brand Illumination Pty Limited.
www.brandillumination.com.au T +61 2 9973 2696