Many salespeople believe they can only convince their clients with low prices. When the client starts to think about making a purchase, or expresses doubt or dissatisfaction with a service, the first thing that comes to the salesperson's mind is a discount. This is the simplest solution, but not the most effective. When making a purchase, more and more clients want to feel like they paid for something more than the product itself, that is, value added. Value added may be a prominent feature which clearly distinguishes a product, the quality of service or brand image.
What exactly is value added?
Value added applies to all products and is not always visible at first glance. Usually, it’s a feature that other products don’t have, such as a longer warranty period for household appliances, a 24/7 helpline for banking services, free shipping from an online store, exceptionally convenient or visually attractive packaging, or exceptional customer service. Value added, most often created by marketing departments, is of great importance in building customer loyalty and brand image.
Strategy for developing the value added of a product:
- Identifying the product features that best meet the needs of the target group.
- Analysing the competition and determining the value added which their products don’t offer.
- Estimating what value added we can offer our clients, taking into account the time, commitment, and money involved.
- Cementing the value added in the customer’s mind to build brand image.
Value-added is not easy to measure as it is ambiguous and has many factors. What is certain is that it’s increasingly important when choosing a product or service. The customer expects certain values when buying a company product. Often the brand itself becomes value added, as it affects the customer’s mood style, and even personality and value system (for example, Apple products).
It is worth noting that value added changes over time. Fashion, technological development, and access to information have a large influence on it. The value added must correspond to current trends. It should be emphasized that although the value added is indicated by the salesperson, it is subject to customer evaluation. It may happen that what is value added for us is not for the customer, and vice versa. What we treat as an additional, less important service is sometimes very important for the customer, and even a deciding factor in closing the sale.
Why is the importance of value added sales growing?
Sales management has changed in recent years. A number of factors have contributed to this. First, products and services are becoming more similar. While they used to be different, today they’re basically the same, made of similar components, often produced in the same place. Another is the digital revolution. The Internet, social media, digitization, and automation have changed the sales process, and therefore the behaviour of customers has also changed. Today they’re very well informed, constantly online, and expect personalized offers.
In response to such expectations, the salesperson should provide customers with uniqueness. Value added is built through the sales process, and the salesperson should appear in several roles simultaneously: as an expert, a partner, a process coordinator, and the main source of information.