SALES PARADOX: "Creating value can devalue"
Interview by John Smibert
In this video Susan Donovan talks about the many occasions where salespeople lose value by trying to create too much value for customers, too quickly. And they do this without ensuring they are going to get value in return. It becomes 'all give' on their part and 'all take' on the client's part.
Susan talks about what you - the salesperson - need to do to avoid this trap and how to manage the sale in order to achieve value for both your client AND you.
Susan is a specialist in high-level micro skills for salespeople - she's an author and an outstanding trainer for salespeople.
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John: Hello, welcome back! I'm delighted to have with me Susan Donovan. Susan's a specialist in high-level micro skills for salespeople, she's an author and an outstanding trainer for salespeople. Welcome, Susan!
Susan: Thank you, John!
John: You know, you're also the lady of paradox and I've been reading some of your paradoxes, and there's one in particular I'd like to talk about today. You're saying that sometimes creating value can devalue.
John: That is a paradox for me, because we teach salespeople that you must create value for your customer, you must be focused on your customer and look for ways to create value for them and not be focused on self or product or whatever.
John: Why do you say it could devalue?
Susan: Well, you absolutely do need to be very focused on how you can create value for the client; no doubt about that. It's all around how you deliver it that is really the issue here, especially for some salespeople that have really high empathy. They can find themselves just wanting to give and give and give to their customers, and if they've got a customer who's a taker and who may not have a high intent to buy from them then they can end up just giving way, way too much away and finding themselves running around in circles for a client that really doesn't intend to buy from them.
John: Oh, I can sympathise with that. I've seen other people do it, and I've done it myself.
Susan: Yes, me too. [laughs]
John: I thought I was doing some wonderful work to help create value for a customer and build trust, become the trusted advisor.
John: And they say "Thank you very much - bye!" and they take everything I've done, and I get no value for it.
Susan: Exactly, exactly.
John: So, what should we be aware of? How should we avoid that happening?
Susan: Well, I think it's obviously a part of the qualification process, but it's maybe just another thing to add when you're qualifying a customer is where you would put them on the giving and taking scale, and if they're higher up the taking end and you know you're a high giver then it's just something you really need to factor in.
John: It's a very dangerous situation, isn't it?
Susan: It really can be, yeah.
John: I want to give, they want to take.
Susan: Yep, that's right.
John: Okay, so you factor it in. What do you do about it?
Susan: You really should want to fractionate how you give value, not give it all at once.
Susan: We give a little bit, see how it lands and see what comes back, and really expect, as a salesperson, that you are going to receive something back for value somewhere in the equation, and if it's never coming back then you need to kind of figure that out. Or, hopefully, see it on the horizon and know that as early as possible.
John: Almost the point of demanding that I get something back, give me something in return otherwise I'm not going to progress.
Susan: Yes, yes.
John: Okay. I think that makes a lot of sense.
John: And you're right, that probably does fit into qualification. You need to be aware of that and ask that question yourself "Am I giving and not receiving?"
Susan: Exactly, exactly.
John: Great advice, Susan - I look forward to the next time we talk!
Susan: Thank you, John! [laughs]
John: Thanks, Susan!
See more of the 'TALKING SALES' series here
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