Creating Perception That Exceeds Reality

Regardless of how real a value may be, it has no value at all until the value is perceived. The perceived value of a product is what the prospective buyer thinks that product is worth to them. With that in mind we know the real value of a product might mean different things to different people.

Consider: The man that just fell overboard would likely see a tremendous value in owning the pricier, top-of-the-line lifejacket. The man standing in the marine supply store shopping for a lifejacket might not see the value of spending a few extra dollars for the highest quality life-safety device. You see, there is a difference between perceived value and cost. Cost is the actual price of the product and perceived value is what that same product is worth to your prospect.

The successful sales consultant understands that the perceived value must be greater than the actual cost and is, therefore, skilled at driving up the perceived value. Let’s discuss a few pointers to keep in mind when attempting to drive up the value.

It’s All About the Right Questions

The successful sales consultant knows that rather than wasting time bragging about their company and describing every feature of the product, they are much better off finding out what specific needs the prospect has and meeting those needs. This so-called “shotgun” approach in the sales process is usually perceived by the prospect as a lot of fluff and usually lacks true substance. By overselling like this you end up answering questions that nobody is asking. You come off like a stereotypical salesperson out to make a quick buck and then move on to your next victim.

Obviously, the best way to find out what is the prospect’s “hot button” or dominant buying motive is to ask a series of questions. By asking the right questions your prospect will often tell you how to sell them. For example: If I was trying to persuade a restaurant owner to buy my surveillance system, I would probably ask him, “How much of your inventory do you think you are losing out the back door each week?” Now, not only are you getting valuable information but you may also be creating a need by reminding him of his loss potential.

Get Your Excitement On

Understand that the prospect you are meeting with right now probably does not have the same issues or needs as your last customer. Avoid the one-size-fits-all concept by understanding each client’s unique needs and requirements. Remember, the definition of a sale is: find a need and fill it. If you do not understand the real need you cannot solve the problem; therefore, you have no sale.

Once you discover a prospect’s dominant buying motive, the real excitement begins: Here is where you start presenting. You are now going to begin driving the value of your product up so high that when you finally quote the price they are pleasantly surprised. I refer to this as the exciting part because this is where sales professionals can really excel.

First of all, know what you are talking about. Thoroughly understand the features and benefits of your product and company and how it all relates to the prospect’s needs.

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