Perception: The Underpinning of Value-based selling

Following my post yesterday, I have received a lot of mails, messages and calls asking me to provide more insight on perception as a major driver for value-based selling. Here’s my response.

In the world of selling, value is simply what compels a prospect or customer to make a purchase. It is the perception of value that converts a prospect into a customer. Additionally, the perception of value plays a crucial role in determining the price a prospect is willing to pay.

Price, therefore, is paid in exchange for the perceived value. No matter how beneficial, useful, important, distinctive, fast, dependable, or suitable your product or service is, no prospect will buy from you or engage in repeat business if you cannot effectively communicate and convince them that the value they will receive from the offering far exceeds the price they are paying.

When making a purchase for the first time, individuals do so based on their perception or belief that the product or service will meet their expectations, and that the perceived value outweighs the price they are paying. In other words, value is first perceived before it is validated or confirmed.

Perception of value can be influenced by hearsay, advertisements, or presentations by salespeople. Prospects often don’t know the cost of producing the item or designing the service, so they lack a basis to determine the “fair price.” In selling, value is simply the perception of worth that makes you pay a price to acquire a product or obtain a service.

If a product is purchased based on perceived value and delivers as expected, it reinforces the value perception. In such cases, the customer is likely to make repeat purchases, possibly from the same salesperson. On the other hand, if a product is purchased based on perceived value, but fails to meet expectations, it leads to value erosion. As a result, the customer is unlikely to make repeat purchases.

Value-based selling is a customer-centric approach that focuses on understanding and communicating the unique value (perceived worth) that your product or service offers to the customer. It goes beyond just selling features and benefits and involves creating a personalised value proposition that meets the specific needs and priorities of each prospect/customer. The key challenge lies in presenting and demonstrating value in a way that appeals to both the rational and emotional buying impulses of the prospect.

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