Suppose your company could make the exact product or service each one of your customers needed and suppose you could price it and sell it so it maximized your returns. That does sound like a bit of a stretch, but if we think about it, in many instances we can come pretty close to this scenario by doing three things. We need to:
1) understand our customer’s needs. How they tie into their initiatives, goals and strategies, and what the underlying reasons for those needs are;
2) understand how they weigh and prioritize their decision criteria and how our value proposition compares to their alternative(s);
3) develop and execute a strategy to position our value in the correct context and negotiate an agreement that rewards that value.
It is the process of understanding your value and being able to identify, as precisely as possible, how your solutions meet you customers’ needs, relative to their alternatives, and positioning your value to succeed that allows us to differentiate to win. Plainly stated, once your customer weighs you against his alternatives, your solution needs to have the highest probability of success and the lowest risk of failure. After all, they want their initiative to be successful, don’t they?
This is why our value, understanding it and positioning it properly have become such key elements of modern negotiating strategies. Especially when you consider that value is always relative and must be viewed on a deal-by-deal basis. What one customer values may not be the same thing another customer values (today).
To learn about new technology for process improvements in this area, request our article on the Value Blueprint Application.