For centuries, peddlers and traders from all around the world have been perfecting the art of selling and trading. And while the world may be a much different place today than it was thousands of years ago, the basic concept of selling goods to earn a living hasn’t changed very much at all.
If you’re considering or have recently started an entry-level sales job, then why not take advantage of this vast knowledge base by implementing some of the sales techniques that have proven successful over the years.
For part one of this series, let’s start by exploring the value proposition — the most important part of your sales / elevator pitch.
The value proposition
TechTarget defines value proposition as a “statement that clearly identifies what advantages a customer will receive by purchasing a particular product or service.”
Do you really know what makes your company and its products valuable?
The truth is, when some sellers make their sales pitch, their value proposition fails to communicate any actual value. This is typically because the seller either provides too much information, doesn’t consider the buyer’s needs, focuses on features instead of benefits or fails to demonstrate any differences from the competition.
But as a budding entry-level salesperson, this doesn’t have to be the case for you.
There’s a lot of competition in sales and marketing jobs, which means there’s a lot of overlap between what product or service you and your competitors are offering. This is known as the “value parity.” If your sales pitch focuses on the parity, then that would mean you’re simply offering what the customer could get almost anywhere else.
Instead, an effective value propositions focuses on defensible criteria that fit into two categories:
- What you have to offer that your competition does not
- What’s important to the customer.
This is what really makes you valuable and is known as your “value wedge.”
For example, you might say, “LogoNation is the only company that promotes local business and community pride by providing the CommuniTee, a unique promotional t-shirt with colorful advertisements on the back supported by local businesses.”
A strong value proposition sets you apart from the competition and will help overcome any concerns or objections a prospective customer might have. And it’s this ability — that is, the ability to communicate this real value — that is critical to being successful in all outside sales rep jobs.
Come back in future weeks to read Parts 2 and 3 in this series about proven sales techniques for sales reps.