It is, of course, the buyer’s opinion which is more important. However, it is the seller’s job to ensure that value is communicated, and this is a big challenge.
In business-to-business markets, buyers make decisions in very different ways from what they did a decade ago.
In a new business scenario, whereas in the past, one decision-maker may have been happy to meet the salesperson, decide on the spot and sign it off on their own.
Now high-spend decisions are often made by groups of people, over a longer period of time, and the salespeople are absent from the decision-making process.
If the salespeople are absent at the time the decision is made, then everything must be done to provide the buying team with the right quality of information when they need it so that they can decide in their own time the value which is on offer.
In an existing business scenario, many companies provide fantastic levels of service, and you would think that by doing so, they would never lose business. That, of course, is not always the case. If the customer does not appreciate the value and is prepared to pay for it, then, the seller is at risk of not only losing the business but having wasted resources on providing higher levels of service that are necessary.
Working out the optimum levels of service takes some time and effort. It is a constant work-in-progress.
Without an understanding of how buyers make decisions and what it is they value, it will always be difficult to get new business, retain existing business and grow profitable revenue.
The way forward is to develop strategies which enable a better understanding of buyers and enable marketing and salespeople to collaborate closely together to sell in a way which is ‘buyer-focused.’
This way, buyers and sellers are on the same page. Rather than a win: lose we have a win: win.
There are exceptions—buyers who are conditioned to winning at the expense of the supplier. If our portfolio of accounts contains only this type of customer, then we are in for a difficult time.
However, not all businesses want to do business this way. Some businesses want to have a good network of valued suppliers who they can rely on. These are the people and businesses which do appreciate value, provided it is a value which makes a positive difference to them.
If you are a business that both wants to and is capable of delivering high levels of value, then choosing which customers to offer that value is very important.
Focus only on the prospects and customers who need it, will appreciate it and be happy to pay for it.
Then you will have your ‘value appreciated.’
Hargreaves Marketing is about helping you to be appreciated by customers for the value which you deliver through your products, services and business operations.
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