Adding Value is Not An Option…

…adding value is the ONLY option.

It’s intuitive to most that sales people we need to add value on every sales call and in every interaction with a customer or prospect.  We’ve got to be:

  • Solving
  • Educating
  • Providing
  • Helping
  • Guiding

Or any other combination of acts of service to our customers and prospects.

What wasn’t at first intuitive to me was observing the success (or lack thereof) of the numerous window suppliers that worked with locations across the country when I lead the national window program for a large LBM dealer.

Time and time again, our sales managers and reps who aligned with one supplier over another did so because that rep “showed up” consistently.  One could at first perceive this as the reps who “made the rounds” on a “route” were commanding the time and attention of our sales people.  That merely by walking through the door (with or without donuts), a manufacturer would win us over.

But upon further examination of course it wasn’t THAT the rep was stopping by consistently; it was WHAT the rep did when she was in our location.  The best reps would walk in and get to work:

  • Solving (a problem)
  • Educating (us on a product or best practice)
  • Providing (a project lead or competitive insight)
  • Helping (with take-offs, quote help, or an answer)
  • Guiding (us to become better at what we do)

And for leadership, there’s a sixth item to add to the list: Learning. When we visit with customers or prospects (but particularly current customers), we need to ask the questions that let us understand where we’re performing and where we’re not—and what it will take to close that gap.

So before showing up at your customer’s location without a plan to add some value, just know there’s a competitor that’s likely kicking your ass by being intentional about showing up and adding value on each and every call.