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Selling Value Without Selling: Part 1

Posted by Tony Cole on Fri, Mar 10, 2023

Selling value as a strategy for selling is not effective. So, what should you do instead?  Watch part 1 of our my new 3-part series, Selling Value Without Selling to find out.                                   


For the longest time now, about five years, I've been wondering about this whole idea of selling value. I've come to the conclusion that selling value as a strategy for selling, is wrong. There, I've said it, let the criticism begin. But here's my reasoning. Selling value puts salespeople in all industries, services, and products in the same position of the old approach of selling features and benefits. What I mean by that, is the sales professional is still trying to sell something. Instead of trying to find out what would possibly motivate a buyer to buy, what would possibly motivate a buyer to make a change? Add a new relationship.

Here's an example of selling value in terms of dialogue. A prospect says something like "Why should I do business with your bank?" The lender says, well, because we bring a value-added approach to our relationships. We do more than just get you great rates on your loans and deposits. We approach your business from a trusted advisor approach. We work hard to understand what your overall objectives are and then search to find solutions to help you achieve those objectives. Our staff focuses specifically on your business segment. We have a combined 135 years of experience. Our bank has the biggest market share in the area, and our branches are conveniently located throughout your footprint. We have extended hours of operation, and our online banking deliverable is second to none. If you're looking to work with a bank that can do those things, has that kind of focus. But I'd like to show you or tell you more about how we can help you and your business grow and prosper at a role play.

I don't care what you call it. Consultative selling, value based selling, relationship selling, ect. It doesn't matter. All of that you just heard, it's still a sales pitch. What I'm suggesting is to keep the word value to teach your sales team how to uncover what the prospect values. The only way to do that is to change the dialogue in the very beginning of the relationship and make sure the focus is entirely on what the client needs and wants and requires to meet their objectives. To accomplish this, your sales organization must understand the following principle: the quality of the phone call will determine the quality of the appointment.

To have a high quality appointment, your salespeople must have accomplished five things before meeting a prospect. Number one, they must determine the prospect's role in any decision making. Two, they must have uncovered some level of motivation to make a purchase, make a change, change the current relationship, or add a new relationship. Number three, they must have asked if the problem with the opportunity is a must-fix or want-to-fix, they will kick the can down the road for want-to-fix problems. Number four, they must have gotten invited to meet. To discuss the item further. In other words, get invited versus begging their way into the appointment. Can I come by and see you need week? Number Five. They have to have an agreement on the outcome of that meeting when it's over. In other words, it's quite simple. When we finish, we're both going to know if we should keep talking, or stop talking. Failure to do those five things on the phone leads to failure at uncovering what our prospect values and forces a salesperson into selling mode.

Stay tuned for part two, where I will discuss with you what your salespeople have to be made of in order to be extraordinary at positioning value. Thank you.


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Topics: Sales Management Training, Leadership Skills, banking sales training


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    About our Blog

    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.


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