Core Values and selling
It is without a shadow of doubt that a person’s core values drives their behaviour. Over the long run it also influences who they associate and build relationships with. Analogously, in a business the core values of a business are often some of the key things that a potential buyer or customer buys into first before they buy into the product. In a highly competitive industry such as legal services in South Africa it is often referrals and/or value-based sales that make one succeed over others. Yes, even with homogeneous goods where your business is a price-taker you can perform better than the rest. Core Values and Selling together generate better cash flow the business in the long run.
It follows from this then that the values are as good as the behaviour that others around you consume from it. If honesty and integrity are your values then you must act in a way that shows that. Clients (existing and potential) will only buy into that if they experience it themselves or someone they trust has experienced it from you. Infusing this understanding into your Sales pitch will move you greatly towards winning that business/work from your potential or existing client. It is often said that if you stand for nothing you will fall for everything.
On the other hand understanding your team (whether business owners, Sales or Management team) and what drives them, their value systems, goals and objectives allows you not only to understand and motivate them better but it also allows you to drive a team ethos and agenda that far surpasses the sum of the parts. A caring doctor is more likely to get patients more than one who doesn’t. People will often travel long distances just to purchase goods or services from those who espouse similar values to them. A shoe sales person who really embodies the essence of wanting to make you look and feel good will win over a person just chasing sales.
The problem is as the business grows and the business owners or managers get more and more involved in more strategy building and implementation the rest of your team must carry you forward with day-to-day functions. A sale does not start when a client makes a phone call to you. It normally starts at a braai, conference or at a place where someone who holds your potential customer’s trust is looking for you. When that person vouches for you they vouch on your values. It goes without saying that if that trust is not held then you are less likely to make the sale. Furthermore, your receptionist, switch board operator, sales staff, cleaner and everyone in your office has to buy into your values for you to reach your ideal target market.
Getting your team and your business energised on shared values and on your organisation’s values can be a great fillip to winning clients. Core values drive more sustainable and consistent sales that can carry you through business cycles. A good example is certain restaurants thrive almost solely on its value-system and selling its family-oriented and kids-friendly underpinning. Anyone with young kids knows just how difficult it is to find a restaurant that accommodates kids. The younger the kid the harder it is. Buying decisions can be influenced by this and they are.
Staying with the children-friendly theme another example are supermarkets who offer baby seats as part of the shopping experience. This makes a difficult shopping experience a little more bearable.
In conclusion, every client management strategy should start from the values up. Values-driven sales add value to the client and differentiate you from your competitors. It is your unique selling proposition. If you have not undertaken the exercise the best people to advise you what you do stand for now are your clients. So, I would like you to try this out the next time clients give you a compliment about service. Thank them for their kind words and ask them what it is exactly that they appreciated about the service. When the next client asks you why they should choose you then you can always say: “Well my clients say that….”
Author: Ntuthuko Zwane
Ntuthuko is the Business Evolutionist and a Managing Director of HMZ Capital, the Cash Flow Management and Funding specialists. He is passionate about assisting businesses generate the cash flow they need to grow. For more blogs sign up on our webpage: www.hmzcapital.com and like our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/hmzcapital. HMZ Capital in conjunction with True Awakenings is offering the Business Evolution Series. To read more about it please visit our workshops page. Core Values and selling based on values is the first module and first day in the 5 day workshop.