In selling efficiency, there are three main “value categories” that you can bring to the table when proposing a project: utility-cost financial benefits; non-utility-cost financial benefits; and, non-financial benefits. The more benefits you can come up with in each of these categories, the more value your offering has (and hence, the more likely your prospect will approve the project).
If you can come up with new, significant benefits for your product or service through brainstorming, research, and discussions with past clients, you’ll increase the strength of your value proposition. I like to share real-world examples on this blog from time to time as a way of getting the wheels spinning in your mind about what sorts of possibilities are out there. The following example comes from Nualight, an LED lighting company based in Ireland:
To determine the full benefits of an LED retrofit in the frozen section of grocery store, Nualight collected before-and-after data on a grocery store that replaced fluorescent lights with LEDs. In addition to the expected benefits (lower utility bill, longer lasting bulbs, less required maintenance, etc.), they found that this particular grocery store had 19% higher sales in the wake of installing LED lights. In the grocery business, utility costs are significant; however, the utility cost savings in this case are far less compelling than the increase in sales.
According to the study (which you can find HERE), the retrofit resulted in a payback of only five months! The report noted that an increase in sales of even 3% would be enough to reduce the payback to less than one year (not that “payback” is the best financial metric to focus on).
So, what’s the moral of the story? Go out and find compelling benefits for your products and services – particularly those that fall into the non-utility-cost and non-financial buckets. If you focus only on the most obvious benefits, you’re leaving potential business on the table.
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