How to unlock sales success by articulating your value proposition

Do your salespeople understand what they are selling? Are they able to articulate it? To articulate the value proposition. Or as business owner or sales manager you assume it’s obvious? Let me illustrate. I recently held a session with sales newbies. Their product is revolutionary but their customers are traditional. I’m talking about logistics here, and anyone in logistics will tell you the business is chaotic and price sensitive. Truck owners negotiate with an upper hand and not much courtesy; much like traditional cab drivers used to, before Uber.

Now, these salespeople’s solution brings transparency and order to the trucking business much as Uber did, taxi. It’s a compelling value proposition for truck owners. However, this paradigm shift needs to be clearly conveyed to them. The focus should shift from mere cost negotiations to showcasing the comprehensive benefits their solution offers.

Mastering the Art of Articulation

Alas, it was not the case. When the salespeople reach out to the truck owners to onboard them, guess what? The truck owner, understandably, responds with, “How much do you pay?” And just like Uber, because price is not what they are selling, their prices are lower. And so, the haggling begins and tension follows. And in a price war, last wins. Now, if only the salespeople were able to move the engagement to value. To articulate the value proposition their product offers.

They would demonstrate the dramatically increased volumes, access to markets hitherto inaccessible by the truck owners, optimal use of the truck as it would never return empty, timely and transparent payments, absence of middlemen, increased income and myriad other benefits, absence which keep truck owners awake at night. In essence, they are assuring them of unprecedented, clean and easy business (sales).

articulate your value proposition

How to articulate customer value proposition

So, what to do? Handle the disconnect as an objection.

“How much do you pay?” As always, start with an acknowledgement before responding. For instance, “Bei ni kuongea japokuwa sisi huongea… (Price is negotiable though we talk…) then mention any three of the plethora of benefits he desperately wants to hear). Quite likely they’ll be curious to find out more. A typical reply from him could be, “What do you mean, I will never do an empty trip? How now?” And just like that the discussion goes to value and you are able to articulate it as you are now on the same wavelength.  You’ve moved him from where he was to where you need him to be.

The disconnect between the revolutionary solution on offer and the traditional expectations of the truck owners highlights the importance of effective communication. It’s essential for the sales team to bridge this gap and shift the conversation from the immediate price concern to the long-term value the product provides. Such are the benefits of being able to articulate your value proposition whether for a new or existing product or service.

And here’s a fun fact. If they called and rattled out the benefits thinking, “why not just go straight to articulation”, that would fail flat. The prospect’s frame of mind would not be receptive yet. For a successful paradigm shift the salesperson must first get on the truck driver’s side.

Read: Why using the word convenient is inconvenient in selling

The importance of clearly showing your value proposition

Here’s another option: “How much do you pay?” ‘How much are you typically paid?’ Again, that catches him off guard. If he tells you the amount (unlikely honestly) then you ask, “What if I guarantee your truck will never do an empty trip, business from big manufacturing companies, and that we will pay any demurrage (waiting) charges you incur, and train your drivers all for free. Then how much will you expect to be paid? Confused by your response, his would be along the lines of, “What are you talking about?” And voila!, he’s gotten into the passenger seat and you are the driver.

Understanding your product and effectively articulating its value proposition is pivotal in sales. It’s the difference between a transaction and a transformation; between a sale and a satisfied, loyal customer.  Admittedly, it’s a journey getting there. However, as you navigate this intricate landscape, always strive to articulate not just the features of what we sell, but the transformative story that accompanies it.

You may also like to read: How do I stand out in sales? Show value

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