Selling Value offers advice and recommendations to help salespeople develop more effective habits and processes for sales.
Sales is one of those necessary activities with which everyone (including many salespeople) have a love-hate relationship.
On the one hand, sales bring in the money. On the other, it can seem like forever before you get that “yes, you can have the money” transaction in this world of fast, cutthroat competition.
How does a salesperson stay ahead in such a crowded world?
Create a Busy Sales Pipeline, Begin with Value for Easier Sales
Every sales person is familiar with the use of discounts to turn a prospective lead into a willing sale, but is this the only way to get a sale? What if you want to sell your products at full price, but can’t find any willing customers? Don Hutson, author of “Selling Value: Key Principles of Value-Based Selling” says that you aren’t creating enough value. Customers, he discusses in his book, will gladly pay for your products at the price you set, but they must see the value in what you have to offer. That happens if you are trying to sell something for one dollar or a million. Value is what people agree to in a sale.
Creating value, as described in “Selling Value,” doesn’t just mean sticking a discount on your product or service. It doesn’t mean just listing the benefits of your product over your competitor. Creating sales value is based on studying yourself, the craft of salesmanship, and the market and using that knowledge to craft a well-oiled sales process.
Create Amazing Value in Every Sales Transaction for Success
Creating that well-oiled process is something that involves planning and work. Hutson, however, says that the work is worthwhile because it provides a more effective way for salesmanship. Instead of trying to get better at sales, his book offers a way to improve your sales process at every step in the selling cycle. “Selling Value” focuses on using concrete feedback, process improvement, and a positive mindset as the keys to better sales. Hutson believes that, with these three factors, an average salesperson becomes a great one.
To get a little more specific, “Selling Value” focuses on three particular areas that any person who is engaged in sales can improve their value:
Create Value in You
“Selling Value” focuses a lot of attention on the individual. All sales transactions begin with the salesperson first. As a salesperson, your value is created when you are prepared, positive, persistent, and connected. Do you have the behaviors and habits that foster those characteristics? Hutson spends a lot of time in the first part of the book discussing the mindset of a sales champion coupled with a new model for the selling process.
Create Value in Your Salesmanship
Hutson also asks salespeople to look at their efforts in salesmanship. Salesmanship is an art and a skill, which can be refined, no matter who you are. Instead of focusing on getting better, Hutson advises salespeople to create a strategic path toward getting better. This path would include creating specific objectives (income, number of calls per day, specific preparation time for each client) and monitoring your performance over time. (How long does it take between the first “yes” and the second one?)
Create Value in the Sales Process
As stated from the beginning, sales happen when people feel they are getting their money’s worth. Most salespeople understand this, but don’t follow through like they should. As Hutson points out, salespeople often work the opposite way. They often outline what they think is important for a customer rather than asking themselves about the value the customer is seeking. This one-way communication can lead to a decrease in customers. It can also cause sales employees to screen people out even before they have a chance to say no.
As “Selling Value” points out, this can be a missed opportunity. It’s important to target, but it’s also important not to exclude. Find ways to include your customer in the process for success.
Is Selling Value Worth Your Time and Who Will Benefit?
“Selling Value” will be of benefit to anyone involved in the selling process, but will be especially beneficial to B2B salespeople. The book is actually pretty detailed compared to other ‘improve your sales method’ books. Hutson goes beyond the typical ’10 steps to better sales ‘ approach and instead focuses on answering the basic problem of improving the sales process. If you are seeking an in-depth analysis, “Selling Value” has plenty to offer in terms of food for thought and possible strategies to get started.
One downside is that the book may dwell a little too much on basic sales principles. But Hutson does an excellent job of providing examples, from his own experience and others to illustrate his points. He also does a great job of breaking down abstract issues into concrete items. If you don’t mind a story and a little extra discussion, this book will offer any salesperson some much needed advice.
About the Author
Don Hutson is a speaker, consultant, and CEO of US Learning, LLC. He can be found on Twitter (@DonHutsonLive) and his website. “Selling Value” will be available for sale on March 3, 2015, on Amazon and other online sites. This review is based on an electronic copy of the book for reviewing purposes.