Quit Focusing on Selling Products and Build Value

SQC smallThe strange thing about value is that most of us could not say what value is, but we do know it when we see it.

My sons took judo lessons when they were younger. They made it to the yellow belt level before other interests took over. After high school they took the path that most of us do by joining one health club and quitting, joining another health club and quitting, etc. They would join the club depending on what special was being offered. Then, at age 19, my youngest son was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. You have heard about the importance of exercise and eating right, but at the same time, I don’t believe any of us truly understand it until we are faced with a disease like diabetes. My son understood. He quickly adapted his diet and began to exercise. The balance of medicine, insulin, diet and exercise paid off. His diabetes was under control.

While he was working out, he felt that he could get into better shape so he joined Farrell’s Extreme Body Shaping. “Is this the same Farrell’s where I sent you for judo lessons?” I asked. “Hardly,” he responded.

At Farrell’s you pay your fees up front and in full. No refunds if you drop out or miss a class. There is a qualifying orientation class you have to take first. You are assigned a coach and put on a team. You show up six days a week for ten weeks for the work-out and there are nutritional classes that you are expected to attend. There is an awards dinner and dance at the end of the program and the one who has improved the most wins $1,000.00.

Classes are consistently sold out.

While health clubs struggle, people line up to go to undoubtedly the toughest 10 weeks of their year at Farrell’s.

What’s Farrell’s promise? It’s transformation.

In business today, it’s not about quality. That is the price of admission, and you had better have it. It’s not about price. Someone will sell what you sell cheaper on the internet. It’s not about expertise. Customers expect you to give that to them for free.

What is it all about? Value. There are, however, different levels of value. What your product does is the first level of value. The second level is the experience it creates. The third, and highest, level of value is when it causes transformation.

When the phones are ringing and people are buying, we tend to focus on what they want and what they say they want is our products and services. What we lose sight of is the fact that people don’t want our products and services; they want the net effect they bring.

When people aren’t buying, they stop asking for our products and services, but since that’s all we know to talk about, we keep pitching our products in hopes that they will see the light and buy.

During turbulent times, it’s not that opportunities go away; it’s that buyers start looking for the net effect; the results your products or services produce.

My son was already off insulin shots before he joined Farrell’s and now his doctor has reduced his remaining diabetic medication in half. That’s transformation.

Do you know the net effect you bring? Can you clearly articulate that to the buyer? Do you know the questions to ask to uncover the need for the net effect you produce?

To start understanding the value you bring, ask your customers these questions:

  • What do you like about the way we do business?
  • What is the one thing we should never stop doing?
  • What could we improve upon?
  • What would you tell your best friend about what we do?
  • On a scale of one to five, five being the highest, how would you rate your experience working with our company? (scores 1-3, you’re headed for trouble)
  • Have we helped transform your business, the way you do business or your job in any way?
  • If they outlawed our business today, who would you contact to replace us?
  • What do you think we do well?
  • If you were running our business, what would you do differently?
  • What would it take for us to lose your business?
  • As you look over the next three months, what would have to happen in order for you to feel good about your progress?
  • Lastly, who else do you know who would appreciate the way we do business?

If you get responses back based on quality or price, you are either asking the questions wrong, have the wrong customer, or are in trouble.

Good Selling!