- October 27, 2014
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
Can you guess what it is – the one thing most salespeople are unable to do?
Based on what I most frequently write about, you might think that it would be consultative selling, but that’s not it. You might also guess that it’s the sales equivalent of eating right – not doing demos and presentations so early in the sales process. But that’s not it either.
However, there really is one thing that all but the most elite salespeople are unable to do. It is partly a result of their inability to sell consultatively while continuing to demo, present, quote and propose too early. Can you guess what it is now?
Most salespeople can talk about their value proposition, and they can certainly add something of value, but they are unable to provide value – enough value so that their prospects will pay more to do business with them. I’m not just talking about salespeople selling value, I’m talking about salespeople being the value!
How huge is this problem and how hot is this topic right now?
In just the past week, it has been the host’s topic of choice on 2 radio shows on which I was the guest, the topic of 2 articles I was asked to write, the topic of two keynotes I was asked to give, and the topic of an upcoming presentation my team will conduct (you’re invited!) later this month. Is this a hot topic or what?
The inability to sell value is nothing new though…it has been going on for decades. What’s different now is that so many people care so much about it. Why do you suppose that it’s suddenly so important?[Insert your answer in the comments below.] I’ll give you my answer right here.
Only one company in each product category can be the low price leader and they have to sell shit-loads of their stuff to make any money. Everyone else must fight for the business that may not go to the low price leader. Some try to get the business by competing on price, while others try to get the business by attempting to justify a higher price. That’s where it’s essential for companies and their salespeople to sell value. And most aren’t very good at it. So companies are getting fed up with making very short money on the business they are winning, while losing a much larger number of opportunities than they care to admit. For most, this is a losing battle that can’t continue. Therefore, one of three things will occur:
- They will give up, shut the doors, and go away.
- They will give in, lower their prices, and try to make it up on volume.
- They will give us (or someone else) a call and get some help selling value.
If only it was that easy.
There are many reasons why salespeople aren’t able to sell value. The categories include, but aren’t limited to:
- Lack of alignment on Philosophy,
- Unclear, ineffective and/or inconsistent Strategy,
- Useless and ineffective Tactics,
- The mission can’t be supported by salespeople’s Sales DNA,
- Salespeople have Sales Skill Gaps, and/or
- The Sales Process does not support and/or reinforce a value sale.
I don’t have the space to write in detail about each of these categories in this article, but there are some things you can do that will help:
- Listen to my guest appearance on Evan Carmichael’s radio show, where we discussed selling value;
- Listen to my upcoming (available on and after November 16, 2014) guest appearance on Jim Lobaito’s BizTalkRadio show (recorded last week) where we discussed selling value ;
- Read my article on selling value in this week’s issue of Top Sales Magazine;
- Read my three most popular articles on selling value:
Buyers will continue to drive prices down until salespeople learn how to stop it, or companies start dropping like flies. The time has come to stop the squeezing. Won’t you join me in putting an end to the madness?