What does “adding value” mean to you?

So often we deny ourselves and our business the opportunity of adding value to the transaction by closing the deal and rushing to the next transaction, meeting, or task. In previous articles we have referred to creating a good first impression, so today we thought we’d look at how we can add value to a transaction.

Once you have made your good first impression, this opens the door to learn more about the customer by asking open ended questions and conducting enquiring conversation. This allows you to determine if there are any additional needs for which the customer requires a solution.

It is important to keep in mind that the customers defined needs may be limited by their lack of knowledge or information so it’s best to ask a number of searching questions to help them provide the information needed so you can understand their requirements.

The customer can benefit from your experience and knowledge. Provided you have built sufficient trust, you are well positioned to support their decision to also include features or additional products that they may have initially been resistant to.

This was recently brought home to us with a personal experience we had when purchasing a small television which we wanted fitted to the wall in our kitchen. We had chosen three retailers to visit and explore available options. The first retailer was a big-name brand well known for televisions and appliances but we felt lost in the large store and the salesperson on the floor showed very little interest in understanding our needs or providing any assistance. On our way to the next retailer we passed a department store and stopped in to make a number of unrelated purchases. We noticed this retailer sold small televisions so we decided to take a look at the range on display. A very helpful store employee took the time to chat to us, enquired about our plans for the television, and provided some very helpful hints and tips that pertained to our specific needs.

In demonstrating sufficient knowledge to gain our trust and supporting our process to make an informed decision, the sales person quickly and efficiently gained our trust.

In the end, we not only purchased a television from this business, but also an application-suitable wall bracket with which to position the television. We also opted for some extra cables. In addition, we have now recommended this business to a number of our family and friends and returned ourselves on other occasions to make additional purchases.

Here are a few key steps the salesperson took:

  • Friendly, welcoming approach
  • Ask questions in a conversational way, not as if they were in an interrogation
  • Defined our needs with confirming language
  • Reassured us he was listening and understanding our needs
  • Not taking it for granted that we would purchase from him, or that store
  • Made the transaction simple
  • Added value (and products) where it was relevant

What we have learned from this interaction is that if you greet and treat your customers in a way that addresses them as individuals and recognises their unique needs, you can quickly gain their trust and have the opportunity to look at ways in which you can add value to the transaction.

Salespeople who are taught in the “traditional” way often overlook this element of the sales transaction and can sometimes be too focussed on the end result. This can lead customers to feel they are being given the “hard sell” or that they are reduced to the value of their transaction, rather than as a human being.

Sometimes this can work but, particularly in businesses that want repeat business and that always-valuable “word of mouth” referral, adding value to the sales transaction is an incredibly powerful skill to have in your arsenal. Remember the value of the sales transaction is not only the dollar value of the sale. It’s also how your customer feels at the completion of the transaction and what information they take away with them which they can then share with their circle.

If you’re interested in ways you can add more value to your sales transactions, head over and register for the next Redman Training & Development workshop. Happening on Monday 21st June at 1pm, we’ll spend 90 minutes providing you with best-practice hints and tips to make the most from every interaction with every customer. For more information and to book your place visit eventbrite.com.au/e/152297912155