Apathy is alive and well…
Extraordinary isn’t it? At a time like this, when sitting back and doing nothing really isn’t an option, how many people are doing exactly that. Sitting back. Hoping things will get better. And they might – but then again, they might not, at least not for a while.
Are you still doing the same things you did 6, 12, 18 months or more ago?
And expecting different results? Do you truly understand your customers buying processes? Just sit back and think about that.
· Do you truly understand your customer’s buying processes, who’s involved and how they make decisions?
· Do you really understand the things that are important to them, their decision-making criteria?
· Do you know enough about them and their business to be able to hold a conversation with them about their business problems, their challenges and their opportunities?
· Do you understand the things that they value, as a business and as individuals?
· And do you recognise that if you know it today it might all have changed by next week?
The world is a very different place now.
When we started our focus on value we were talking about building value, improving margins, not leaving money on the table. Utilising value in positive ways to demonstrate why your clients should choose you rather than your competitors and to capture some of that value through improved pricing – what one of our clients calls “not more orders, but better orders!”
Now many of our clients are under serious price pressure from customers who see forcing down prices as the only way of reducing costs. So now you need to be able to use your value delivery as a means of defending your prices. But that means you need to fully understand the things your customers truly value. And if you don’t really, deeply understand your customers that is going to be very difficult.
Are you Selling on Value?
Now more than ever you need to be selling – and pricing – on value. To do that you need to have a sales team (and that includes everyone else in the organisation that has an impact on your sales efforts) that works together to really understand the things that customers value. Value is dynamic. The things that customers value today will change over time. Next week could be different.
Today the focus may well be on costs and cost reduction (cost reduction, not necessarily price reduction, they are not the same thing). In 6 – 12 months’ time the focus is likely to be elsewhere – will you be there?