How can you ‘add value’ to your customers?
As a sales and marketing consultant, I advise my clients to do things that differentiate their business in a positive way from all their competitors.
And a simple way to do this is with the strategy of ‘added value.’
Here are three examples of added value to get you thinking…
1: Warehouse reorganisation:
In the book ‘How Champions Sell’ by Michael Baber there is the case study of Steve who was an industrial sales representative and sold hardware, nuts and bolts to industrial accounts. Steve dealt mainly with buyers in purchasing departments. His products were considered a commodity and he was under constant price pressure.
Now Steve was an engineer, and became interested in warehouse operations.
During some extended sales calls, and during some of his weekends, he worked with the warehouse manager of one of his accounts.
Together they upgraded the accounts warehouse management system. This saved the customer hundreds of thousands of dollars.
His customer was very grateful and gave Steve all his hardware business with little concern for price (as Steve was generally price-competitive).
The owner of this company and the warehouse manager referred Steve to several other companies in the area.
Steve helped install the cost-saving warehouse system at some of these companies. He picked up their hardware business, again with little concern about pricing. Soon Steve was calling on the owners of companies (not buyers) all over his territory.
He offered the added value service of improved warehouse operations. This was accompanied of course by the purchase of his hardware line. Steve became the most successful sales person in his company.
SteveÍs added value service of helping his clients improve the efficiency of their warehouse operations is a perfect example of adding value to his customers.
2: The movie tickets with the new car:
I brought a new car a few years ago. Three weeks after the purchase I received two free movie passes from the car dealer; along with a lovely note thanking me for my business. When I brought this car; I was regularly speaking to several hundred business people a month at live seminars.
I told all these people about my delightful little added value bonus from this car firm. I also went back two years later and bought another car from the same firm.
3: The ‘flower man’ recruitment consultant:
I met an interesting recruitment consultant in Australia a few years ago. He specialised in recruiting office staff for large companies. He made it a habit of regularly going into the offices of these companies and adding value by giving a lovely rose to all the staff who worked there.
He told me he became known as ‘The Flower Man’ by his clients. He also told me it was a very simple way to differentiate himself from his competitors and he got a lot of repeat business by giving away these free flowers.
How can you add value to your clients this week?
One right and honest definition of business is mutual helpfulness. – William Feather
*Graham McGregor is a marketing consultant and the creator of the 396 page ‘Unfair Business Advantage Report.’