Let's say you're a salesperson, and your boss asks you to determine how much value your customers see in what you sell. How would you answer that question? The answer isn't apparent, and it may seem like an overwhelming task. But when it comes down to it, there are only two steps: First, ask questions about the value delivered; second, take the time to listen and analyze what people say.
Set the stage for the discussion by explaining how important it is to know how much value you deliver to customers.
Explain the importance of knowing how much value you deliver to customers.
- It helps you win new business: Understanding the value you deliver and how it compares to your competitors' offerings is a significant advantage when pitching new business.
- It helps improve your product/service: If you know exactly what customers want from your product/service, you can focus on delivering just that.
- It helps better understand your customers' needs: You'll be able to see which features cause them pain points (and therefore are not adding any value) and remove them entirely if necessary.
- It helps better understand their expectations: Having specific metrics allows teams to benchmark against previous data points so they can measure progress toward meeting customer expectations over time.
Ask open-ended questions that focus on the value delivered.
To find out how much value your customers get from your product or service, start by learning more about what they think the most crucial benefit of using your product or service is. To do this, ask them open-ended questions that begin with "What was the most important benefit you received from our service?"
If you're selling software, ask, "How does this software help increase efficiency for your business?" Or, if you're selling an accounting services package to small businesses, ask questions like, "What did it mean for your business not to have to worry about tax compliance anymore?"
You can also use open-ended questions to get a sense of what your customers found to be the most valuable features of your service. For example: "What did it mean for you that our software made it easier to manage your expenses?" Or for the accounting service, "How much more efficient was accounting because we took care of all the tax filing requirements for you?"
Use examples of features, services, and solutions you think provide value.
These can be things your company or organization offers or the work you do to help people in your community. Make sure that they are things that your customers experience first-hand. If a feature cannot be experienced directly by the customer, they may not realize that it is there - such as an internal process or a policy change.
There are many ways you can show the value of what you do for customers:
- Describe how a particular feature helped them achieve their goal (if it was purchased). For example: "The new load balancing feature on our web server makes my website faster than ever before."
- Explain how a particular service increased productivity/saved money/reduced risk (if provided). For example: "Our new office space has allowed us to increase our staff numbers without any extra cost."
- Show how a policy change has improved the customer's experience with your organization. For example: "We have recently changed our return policy to allow customers to return goods that are faulty or damaged within 90 days of purchase."
When your customer answers an open-ended question, dig deeper.
Once your customer gives an answer, go deeper and ask questions like:
- "What led you to say that?" or "Why did that make a difference?"
- "Can you give me an example of when that happened?" or "What other thing does this remind you of?"
- "How would things be different if..." or "What would it take for us to get there together?"
You can also ask questions that help you understand the "what" and the "how." Doing so will give insight into what the customer wants and needs you to do for them, as well as how they think or feel about their current situation. For example: What are your biggest challenges? How did you get here? What is your role in this process/project/decision-making process? When asking these types of questions, remember that every person has a different way of thinking about the world. And sometimes, we don't always know what questions to ask until we get there.
When trying to understand what customers see as valuable, look for themes among responses.
Once you have a bunch of responses, look for themes among them. You can do this by grouping together similar answers and seeing if any patterns emerge. Do some customers talk about price? Are there any common complaints about your service? Is everyone talking about how much they enjoy working with you?
In addition to looking for things that are common among the responses, it can be helpful to look for differences as well. For example, who said something very different from everyone else? What does this person say that the others did not say? Why does this person think differently from all other respondents?
It takes time to find out how much value you deliver to customers, but taking the time to find out makes it easier to win new business.
It is essential to know how much value you deliver to customers so that you can easily demonstrate this value in your pitches and proposals.
The more quantifiable your proposal is, the easier it will be for customers to decide whether or not they should work with your company and what projects you should work on together.
Hopefully, this post has given you some ideas about how to find out how much value you deliver to customers. It might seem daunting at first, but with a bit of creativity and persistence, it's something that anyone can do. And with the insights you gain from this exercise, you'll be well on your way toward building better relationships with your clients and winning more business!