In a selling scenario price is never the problem if you find your customer triggers of value. The challenge is not to communicate value, but to calculate it. You make decision based on value in your personal life all the time, however, you may not see it a calculating value. If you were looking to buy a new car think about what would trigger you to buy?
- If you wanted to reduce your costs of fuel, you would calculate how much money you would save on fuel expenditures compared to your current car.
- If it was to reduce the cost of service/maintenance, you look for a dealership that provided free service for the first three years.
These would be important triggers that carried a higher weighting in your purchase decision, along with the fit (4 or 2 door, boot or hatchback) politic is hybrid a must have or compliance low emissions? Hybrids are not the cheaper options but if it was an important trigger to your decision you would be willing to pay the price.
A Trigger is an event that causes a buyer to have a clear need, such as your car breaks down, this translates into a sense of purpose and urgency. Triggers do not only drive you into a buying process, triggers help you to understand what and why people buy.
What is Your Customers Triggers to Value?
Business buyers and decision-makers have a similar balance of calculations to trigger the purchase, none of these decisions are personal to your product, and your product is a by-product of the balancing decisions. Cold hard numbers trigger decisions. You must align your message to your buyers’ triggers, i.e. what is important to them at that specific time.
You must not only speak the same language as your buyer but you must be on their page and be able to calculate triggers of value the same way as your buyer. The trigger is assessing how much:
- Is X a problem?
- Of the budget am I willing to us to get it fixed?
- Is the benefit impacting the whole company?
- Is the ROI to my customer?
If the ‘How much’ is large then the trigger to action is greater. If the ‘How much’ is small then this alone will not motivate the buyer to trigger a purchase.
Who care about features and benefits if it is not an important trigger to their decision? It means getting to the very basis of what triggers their decision and how the buyer values your benefits, what metrics they use, their page, their language, their priorities. All too often sales people jump into the answers that their product can provide without thoroughly questioning the quantifiable need and accessing the specific advantages the benefits will provide and to what extend and to what extent.
The value equation is universal, but of course how it is applied and in particular the relative weight of different factors makes no two decisions the same. It is the logical rationale basis for buying, but of course it us not just rational. It can also be called the formula for building the business case for a purchase, or project.
The Value Equation
Price or cost is only one factor in the value decision, your pre-propose relationship building work is to question, assess, compare and filter what value means you’re your buyer. Your research allow you to assess the weighted importance of each of the five triggers. The formula has been created out of research of thousand buying decisions:
Your Value = (Costs – Benefits) * Risk * Strategic Fit * Compliance * Politics
The value equation is an inventory of the universal factors in every buying decision. If the value equation is the basis for buying it is also the basis for selling, therefore your pitches and proposals must be aligned with your open questions, your research and fact-finding, on what value is created.
Too often sellers are product-centred on features and benefits, and fail to communicate clearly to the customer the tangible and intangible value that the customer values. I talk about understanding your customer, value equations and assessing your customer value triggers is a basis for competitive differentiation in your assessment of value is your ability to influencing purchase decisions.
I would love to hear your comments and experience of assessing your customer’s value based decisions.