Value-Based Selling: 6 Ways to Sell Value Rather Than Price
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Value-Based Selling: 6 Ways to Sell Value Rather Than Price

Sell, sell, sell.

The current B2B market is flooded with sales pitches, offers, and discounts.

Don’t fall into that trap.

The truth is, you don’t need a sleazy sales pitch or to slash the price of your product to beat out your competitors. The secret sauce to your success will depend on how much value you can add to your product, and how much value that will add to your customer’s life.

In this post, we'll look at what value-based selling is, and six steps to sell value rather than just a cheap price:

  1. Think through your product.
  2. Don’t lay it on thick too early.
  3. Take note of what industry leaders are doing.
  4. Be an educator, not a salesperson.
  5. Eliminate your buyer’s fears.
  6. Highlight the benefits of using the product.

What is value-based selling?

You know you need to add value to your product, obviously. But how do you do that? In a nutshell, you need to find a way to make your product irresistible. Not in a cheesy way, but in a way that ensures your customer isn’t umming and ahhing over your price tag because they're convinced it'll add value to their business or lifestyle.

You need to really show your customers how much your product will help them achieve whatever their end goal may be. Think about selling an outcome and not a product.

Let’s look at six ways to put value-based selling into action:

#1. Think through your product.

A lot of companies will spend tons of time and money building their product well—then quickly throw a sales page together and expect customers to fall head over heels.

If only it were that easy.

You need to get emotional and think about what your customer’s deepest desires and fears are.

Write down ways, big or small, that your product can help your audience. And not just the obvious things either. Get down into the nitty-gritty.

  • Does your product promise to help a business boost their productivity in the workplace?
  • Does your product promise to take 5 minutes to learn how to use?
  • Does your product promise to respond to customer questions within an hour?

Now, write down things that differentiate your product from your competitors. Everything. The way the product is produced. Where it’s sourced. How it was created. Anything that's interesting or different.

You can use these points to show your customer how they can be the best in their field, beat their competition, build their business... you get the idea. The key thing to remember is to aim for their heart—not their bank balance.


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#2. Don’t lay it on thick too early.

If you start your customer journeys with only the finish line (aka. the sale) in mind, you'll fail before you leave the starting blocks. This is where value-based selling comes in handy.

Some of the best sales pitches don’t start off with an email telling you about a discount on their course. They are pitches that you don’t even know are pitches—until weeks or months later. By the time they’ve got to the sales pitch, you've already softened up.

Don’t be tempted to send your customers a welcome email and then follow it up with a ‘Buy me’ email. Use this precious time to show them the different features of your product or business, big or small, that you mapped out in step #1.

Ease your customer into your product with trust.

Check out this awesome example from Unbounce:

Unbounce landing page course

Their business is helping businesses to improve conversions on their landing pages.

Instead of going straight for a sale, the company has built a whole course to show people how to get the most out of their landing pages—and it’s absolutely free.

The company runs on subscription packages, but they add a massive amount of value for free throughout their website so the customer is able to access loads of information on top of their paid package.

#3. Take note of what industry leaders are doing.

Another ‘obvious’ value-based selling tactic that a lot of businesses forget about—or worse, think is beneath them.

No matter what level your business is at, it's vital that you are in tune with what your competitors are doing. Keeping an eye on industry leaders can not only give you an edge but also provide inspiration and knowledge.

This doesn’t mean entering a price-war to the bottom or copying product features—the point of this step is to actually do the opposite.

Knowing how to differentiate your product from the rest in your field is essential, no matter how saturated your market is. If you don’t, you'll drown in a sea of mundaneness.

#4. Be an educator, not a salesperson.

The best examples of value-based selling don't even look like sales pitches.

They start off as educators, and from there are able to build your trust and become the ‘go-to’ solution when the customer is ready to spend money to solve their problem.

Check out the brilliance behind Mailchimp's in-house education hub.

mailchimp in-house education hub landing page

Mailchimp has created a one-stop shop for everything a company needs to know from writing their first marketing email to understanding analytics reports.

The tips and resources don't necessarily lead back to features of Mailchimp itself either; the company has cunningly created an enormous amount of free material that will ultimately do one thing—educate the reader on email marketing.

Whether the person using the resources is a customer or not, there is no denying the amount of value Mailchimp is adding to their product as well as the amount of credit the brand is building as a trustworthy source.

The beauty of this is if you give, give, give to your customer at the start… when it’s finally time for you to ask for something back from them, you have subconsciously won their trust because they’ve already experienced your knowledge.

#5. Eliminate your buyer’s fears.

It doesn’t matter how much value you think you have added to your product—if you can’t convince your potential customer that you'll definitely solve their problem, they are never going to hand over the cash.

There are lots of different ways you can eliminate your customers' fears.

(For instance, at Copper we give you a free 14-day trial to take it for a test drive.)

At the very least, using testimonials from customers who already love your product can go a long way to reassuring potential buyers that you can actually come through with the goods.

The important thing to remember is you need to eliminate your buyers' fears along each step of the journey. This is especially true if you have a product with different levels of pricing, as you'll have to get rid of a customer’s anxiety at each level.

Check out how Help Scout markets their product to their clients.

Help Scout Landing Page
Help Scout sells software to businesses who want a system to help address customer feedback and concerns—in an automated way.

In today’s world of bots, Help Scout knows that their customers' main fear is sounding like an automated robot.

So, they’ve addressed that fear in their opening tagline of their landing page.

Once you’ve got a potential customer feeling like you can solve their main fear, you can go about eliminating the rest of them further down your landing page using testimonials, or you can even have a whole separate page of testimonials and ‘how-to’ videos.

#6. Highlight the personal benefits of using the product.

This is arguably the most important aspect to value-based selling: hitting the customer right in their emotions and getting them to realize how much they'll personally benefit from buying it.

This can be done in a lot of ways. For example, try marketing your product as something that can boost your customer’s happiness, confidence, or productivity. (Like this.)

Don’t underestimate this step when you're planning how to add value to your product, as the strongest impulse on your customer’s buying journey will be that of emotion.

buying rationale and psychology chart

An amazing example of hitting the customer’s emotions was Apple’s ‘Perspective’ campaign.

The campaign focuses entirely on a customer’s emotions; in fact, it doesn’t mention a single Apple product at all.

Instead, the campaign focused on getting people to follow their dreams, embrace their individuality, and celebrate their differences.

Absolutely genius and possibly a bit ironic considering Apple’s near-universal popularity. Even though Apple's products are used by almost 600 million people worldwide, the company successfully managed to pinpoint those who, in their own minds, are unique and individual in their purchases.

Not every aspect of your marketing campaign has to be about showing your customer your product. It might be a story that makes them laugh (or cry). Your main mission is simply to stay at the front of their minds. To be human. After all, your customers are too.

Be human and sell your product as a problem-solver.

Let's be real, selling a product is a lot more than slapping a price tag on it and crossing your fingers. The groundwork and strategic thinking behind how to get inside your customer's head might seem overwhelming. However, it's not only crucial but also extremely beneficial to mapping out your customer journey and helps you highlight the very best aspects of your product.

No matter how expensive your product is or what pricing strategy you use, if you can successfully use value-based selling to solve your customer's problems and convince them your product will help them achieve their goal, you're on the right track.

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