How Valuable Are You?
Let’s hope that the title of this week’s message doesn’t scare you! No doubt that you are valuable to your family and friends, and hopefully to your employer! Our focus will be how valuable you are to your clients. Take a moment to answer the following: how would your clients complete this sentence?
(Your name) is valuable to me because he/she ______________________________________.
Brings me donuts? Buys great lunches? Always gives me the price I want? Tells funny stories? Has never let me down? Now those aren’t necessarily bad responses, but they lack “staying power.” And who says that your competition isn’t the master of providing donuts, lunches, rounds of golf, etc.? The ideal answer indicates that you provide significant and consistent value to all of your clients!
No question that the ideal answer is a combination of both subjective and objective elements. We can’t quantify every bit of value that you provide to your clientele. But they can’t either! So there’s room for presenting and projecting yourself as a value provider as opposed to an order taker or an annoying pest. We also need objective measures of how much value you are providing…and that’s also up to you. If you think that this “providing value” thing is just one big hassle, think again. Being perceived as an effective and consistent provider of value is the best job security in the world. It will also put some extra dollars in your pocket and a smile on your boss’ face!
Never assume that you necessarily know what your clients are expecting from you.
In order to provide value, you need to first find out what your client perceives to be valuable and whether or not you can deliver it. Your client’s needs are ever changing, so probing about this issue with a “constant conversation” is incredibly important. Ask yourself right now about how much you know about your clients’ “burning issues.” Small talk is nice, but delving into the critical issues with them should be a part of every conversation and/or email exchange. You’re the doctor who’s always on call, seeking new solutions for whatever ails your clients!
Maybe this is the “ultimate litmus test” for how valuable your clients think you are—
how often are you asked for serious advice about their business issues that have little or nothing to do with media? How often are you asked about pending decisions about new locations, new product lines, etc.? Clients only ask those who they trust and whose opinions and expertise they perceive to be valuable.
Before you can make real headway with selling value, you need to be perceived as valuable too.
There must be real continuity between the perceived worth of the seller and the perceived value of what’s being sold. It’s as simple (and as complicated) as that. Far too often, there is a disconnect that kills a sale because the client doesn’t see much value in the seller. As consumers, most of us have declined to make certain deals because we didn’t think much of the other party.
The internal “gut check” I’ve just described is a first and necessary step to take before developing effective and compelling value propositions.
That’s where we’ll go next month. In the meantime, think about tangible ways that you can enhance how valuable all of your clients perceive you to be! I promise that it will be time well spent…
About the Author:
Digital Media Training is excited to announce the addition of Buff Parham, a widely recognized thought leader and outstanding coach in the media sales and sales management field. With 35 years of sales experience, Buff has worked at Univision, FOX, Belo, ABC and CBS. He started in the mailroom at CBS, but quickly moved on to selling locally at KABC/Los Angeles and nationally for ABC Spot Sales in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. Buff then continued on to spend almost 12 years with Univision, first as General Sales Manager at KUVN/KSTR in Dallas, and then 5 years in New York as SVP/Sales.
Buff believes that hard work matters and that raising the bar and having greater expectations tend to generate greater results. In his spare time, Buff finds cooking and playing golf to be two of the best therapies for a somewhat hectic existence!
Buff will be contributing a new blog article to Digital Media Training once per month about various sales and sale management topics. Stay tuned!
About Molly DePasquale
Molly DePasquale is the Manager of Operations and Sales Training Strategist for DMTraining. She manages the day-to-day business and training operations while helping research and develop new training programs as well as refreshing signature programs to reflect the newest sales trends, technology, and best practices. Molly utilizes her wide-range of skills to create sales and marketing assets focused on delivering value to DMT’s clients. Molly has a passion for learning and leveraging new knowledge and experiences. Outside of DMTraining, Molly is a hard core Pittsburgh sports fan, enjoys staying active by running and golfing, and unwinds by reading and playing the piano.