Customer value is the sum total of everything a customer knows about what you offer for sale and how it compares to the competition. Inside every prospect and customer exists stealth value… value that could attract more customers and increase sales. This customer value lies outside the awareness of both customers and the companies selling to them. It can help to differentiate your offer, justify higher prices, and close the sale.
The customer’s final decision that determines whether you close the sale or not grows out of the value they perceive in what you offer. Customers can only make those decisions based on what they know. Through First Concepts Consultants 27 years investigating stealth value as revenue detectives, we’ve found that every customer and market has unrealized value. This hidden value could give a firm a competitive edge to close the sale and get customers to accept a higher price.
That value lies inside the mind of the customer and nowhere else. Only the customer can define value. It does not exist in a product, service, or anything a firm offers for sale. You can’t convince a customer to increase the value they place on what you offer, but you can help them uncover value they were unaware of and connect it to your offer.
The customer’s perceptions of value are formed by adding together all the compelling needs and wants the customer is aware of plus all the benefits that the customer ranks high in importance. Everything affecting their perceptions of value, including whether they see your offer as a commodity or unique is contained in the needs, wants and benefits they are aware of. They can only use it to make a decision if they know about it.
Anything outside of their awareness has zero effect on the purchase decision. Our research shows that virtually every company offering a product or service fails to uncover all the customer value that exists inside the prospect and their marketplace. Market research, executives, and salespeople all assume that the information they have gathered represents all the needs, wants, and issues affecting the customer. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There’s gold to be found inside your customers and prospects that could increase sales. You just have to deeply mine for it to find it. Of course, that means you have to start asking different questions, look underneath the carpet, search for new patterns in data, and use other investigative approaches that may be outside of your normal thinking process. Industry veterans can be especially prone to making assumptions about customers and markets that cause stealth customer value to remain hidden. When too much of that happens, customers see what’s offered as a commodity and push down prices and margins. To close the sale more often, you have to uncover as much stealth value as possible.
When you read through this list, you’ll find that uncovering stealth value is about avoiding assumptions, thinking creatively and questioning things so obvious no one ever mentions it. To do this well requires talent in the skill and art of investigation and analysis. These are very different skill sets from being an executive, manager or technical expert which is why there is so much stealth value waiting to be discovered.
Schedule a phone conversation with Don Shapiro, President of First Concepts Consultants, Inc., to answer your questions and explore how a deeper understanding customer value could boost your sales and margins.
Defines what customer value is and how it can help any company to increase its sales, margins and market share. When a business becomes truly customer driven then customer value unifies everything it does.
Revenue Detective Don Shapiro, President of First Concepts, talks about the increasing price and margin pressure many companies are now experiencing and how to address it.
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