When I was car shopping recently, the manufacturers and dealers were more than happy to flood me with detailed specifications about power and performance. Zero to sixty, 4.6 seconds. 400 horsepower. All wheel drive. There were fancy videos with powerful engines growling, tires howling, and even birds chirping when the environmentally friendly engine shut itself off at red lights. There were pages and charts of data and specifications along with lots of pretty pictures.
These objective facts are used to promote their vehicles even though most of us will never need or utilize the car’s full power. Yet, it makes for great marketing and allows us to compare similar vehicles. Then, they add in all of the subjective and emotional benefits of style, comfort, safety, reliability, and most importantly, image. Now, we have lots of information to help us decide on which car to buy.
But when it comes to B2B sales, most businesses don’t measure their own performance. They don’t quantify the value that they provide to their customers. They don’t measure the results they generate in terms of revenue growth, increased productivity, new customers acquired, reduced costs, improved profits, enhanced valuations, and wealth created for their customers. That’s a serious mistake that’s literally costing you millions of lost revenues and lost wealth. You can’t grow your business quickly if you’re not communicating to your customers in their language.
In a recent study I conducted at Alan Weiss’s Consulting Convention in Atlanta, 58% of respondents stated that they did not quantify the value and results that they generated for their clients. If these global consultants aren’t selling results, what are they selling?
The default position for most businesses is to sell their skills, expertise, reputation, methodology, process, size, location, or, worst of all, their price.
The same applies for mid-market companies that want to grow their businesses. If you’re selling your expertise or your processes, then so are your competitors, and you don’t stand out. You certainly can’t generate premium pricing and higher margins.
If you are in the industrial service business and you guarantee: “On time, on budget” for your project, then you reduce the risk to the customer, increase their confidence, and strengthen your position against competitors. That’s a slight improvement but it really only matches your customer’s minimum expectations of working with you anyways!
However, if you can state–because you’ve measured it–that your industrial services will increase your customer’s uptime to over 98%, reduce unplanned breakdowns by 50%, and maximize the useful life of their assets by an additional 20%, then you will have no competition. You’ll be able to charge premium prices and your customer will be happy because you can show them the Return On Investment (ROI) in dealing with you.
Do you know what’s faster than zero to sixty in 4.6 seconds? An ROI of 460%. Quantifying your value and results will grow your business faster than telling customers how many horsepower you have.
How would you answer these questions? More importantly, how would your best customers answer them? Ask them!
- What is your value?
- What measurable results have you created for your customers?
Copyright 2015. Phil Symchych. All rights reserved.