In the summer of 2015, I accompanied my son, 7 other scouts and three other adults on a backpacking trip at Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico. We spent a grueling ten days hiking in the backcountry with heavy packs, rocky trails and lots of elevation change each day. While I learned plenty of lessons on that trip, there is one that fits this segment of Building Blocks of Sales Success. Understanding Relative Value and creating a true sense of value with your prospect.
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When I purchased the ibuprofen at the drug store before we left, I had the advantage of knowing how valuable it could be. I had read the label, I had used it before with good results, and I had ample warning from more experienced dads that I would absolutely want it available in my pack at Philmont. Even with all of that knowledge, I underestimated how valuable my hiking partners would find it. I could have sold those pills at a 10,000% markup by the end of day three on the trail!
Now consider your product and your prospects–how much do they really know about the value of what you’re presenting? If they haven’t experienced what you can do for them, or haven’t experienced the pain of not having you help them, how can they be expected to invest in it as a solution? In my training sessions, I spend some time in discussion about what happens when people who could benefit from assisted living remain “stuck” in their homes. The poster to the right shows a sampling of the possible consequences. We also discuss some of the actual benefits of living in a community. That poster lists the benefits, and you’ll note that very few of the items listed have anything to do with floor plans or other real estate attributes.
Creating Value is the exercise of connecting the solution you offer with the very real problems faced by your prospect.
It is unfair to expect your prospect to see into the future as clearly as you can–you’re the expert who has seen each of these consequences happen in real life. It’s also unfair to expect your prospect to equate your product with the benefits they will experience. This is their first time around, and as far as they know you’re selling an apartment to live in and afternoon Bingo.
In your next conversation with a family member or prospective resident, take some time to uncover exactly what they think they might get from a move to your community. You may be surprised at how little they know about what you do or why. Also take some time to uncover what they consider to be “doing okay at home.” You may be shocked at what your prospect is willing to put up with in order to maintain their sense of status quo.
Creating value is up to you, the sales counselor. The less you create, the less likely it is that your prospect will see the urgency to embrace you and what you have to offer. On the other hand, taking the appropriate measures to build the value of your product and the very real consequences of delay can be the key to your success and the well being of your customer.
Feel free to share your experience with creating value below…
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