Value-Added Selling is a Four-Step Process

Value-added selling is an ongoing process and, as such, contains four steps that repeat themselves constantly. 

1st - Preparation. Commit to the value-added attitude. Become a student of sales and study. Focus strategically on the types of customers from whom you think you can get the return you need. 

2nd - Planning. Planning is call specific. It means revealing everything you know about your customer and asking yourself these pre-call questions: 

  • What do I want to accomplish on this call? 
  • What is my probing objective?
  • What collateral pieces do I need? 
  • What obstacles do I anticipate? 
  • What action do I want from the customer at the end of this call? 

It also means completing a call planning guide in which you write down your openings, the questions you want to ask, the value-added features and benefits you want to stress, and how you'll close the sale. 

3rd - Execution. This is your face-to-face meeting with the customer. It must be more of a dialogue, not a monologue, and at least 50 percent of your time should be spent understanding the customer's needs. When you tell your value-added story, be sure to draw the customer into the presentation so it doesn't become a seminar. And when you're finished listening to the customer and telling your story, you must ask for the business. 

4th - Follow-up. Never leave the parking lot without scheduling the next action step for this customer. Do a post-call analysis to review your performance. "How did I perform? Did I stay on track? Was the chemistry right?" Then record your success in your success journal so you can go out and recreate that success. 

Whatever information you've gathered, feed it back into your data bank of customer information, and look for ways to create more added value for that customer. Then take the new idea and plan your next sales effort as you did before. Tell your customer why you're there. Ask the customer a few questions about what's new in business, present your new idea, and ask for a commitment. Follow up as you did before. Every time you go back to the customer with a new idea, you gain deeper account penetration. 

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