Customer benefit | These 5 questions increase the willingness to buy

Customer benefit | These 5 questions increase the willingness to buy

12 June 2022
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Written by:
Faith Joy Espanola
ASEAN Senior manager with focus Cx

Antony helps clients reimagine and transform their Customer Value preposition.

Increase customer benefit - how does it work? There are best practices for this. One way to specifically increase customer benefit is 5W quantification. With this method, you ensure with 5 simple questions that your customer understands the benefits of your solution much better.

Definition of customer value

Let's start with a somewhat unusual - but very practical - definition of customer value:

The customer value (customer utility) is not the objective value you offer with your company or product. Customer value is always the benefit actually perceived by your customer in the purchase decision.

Customer benefit | These 5 questions increase the willingness to buy

The subjectively perceived customer value

The perceived benefit determines success and failure in sales. Under competitive conditions, your customer always chooses the provider who offers him the highest perceived customer benefit.

So it may well happen that you objectively offer the highest benefit, but the customer has the subjective feeling that your competitor offers a higher benefit.

This is a classic case of "beautifully died is also dead." If something like this happens, you have two options: You can get upset about the wrong decision of your almost customer, or you can approach the matter constructively.

Constructive in this context means agreeing to the insight that we do not lose our orders to competition, but we lose our orders to better sellers!

From my experience, I can say: The better sellers are not around a factor of 10 or 20 than their defeated opponents, but they often win with a "nose length" lead.

On sale it is like in the horse race: One nose-length lead is enough to collect the complete prize money. I have brought you 5 questions in the following, which may give you the necessary lead in the race for the next assignment.

Communicate the customer's benefits correctly

How do you correctly communicate the benefits in the sales conversation?

  • In the Customer-needs analysis,  for example, you can work with the method of SPIN selling in order to decisively work out the customer's concern.

  • Querying purchase criteria and, of course, influencing purchase criteria is the next helpful point on the skill list of top sellers.

  • Then it continues with benefit argumentation and the right benefit chains, techniques for the appearance of competence and, of course, above all, a strategy of solution sales instead of product sales (the more intensively your product, the more important the last point is).

These are the 3 most common tips given in connection with customer benefit. But what often falls under the table is the quantification of customer benefit. Sounds complicated, but is quite simple and must not be missing in any case when it comes to communicating customer benefits correctly.

How to increase customer benefit

In every sales conversation, there are several levers to anchor the customer benefit cleanly in the head of the customers. One of the most effective forms is so-called quantification. When quantifying the customer benefit, simply attach a "price tag" to your customer's desired result.

Your product or service also has a price, so it only makes sense to think about the customer in such categories. The sooner you leave the field of abstract problems, wishes and goals and talk about concrete figures, the better for both sides.

How does the 5W qualification work?

How does the quantification of customer benefit work in practice? By working on the "price tag" together with your customer. These 5 questions will help you:

  1. What numbers express the problem/desired?

  2. What is the current situation?

  3. What numbers do you want to achieve?

  4. What is the value of this difference?

  5. What is the value over the term?

Example: Customer benefit (time = money)

Let's take as an example a software company that sells automation software. In the conversation, the customer complains that many work steps still have to be recorded manually by the clerks and entered into the system. Now you want to hang a price tag on this problem.

How can you quantify your customer problems?

It may well be that the customer looks at his situation for the first time from this perspective. Then this is a real eye-opener. What was still an annoying problem, now has the emergency level 80-120 thousand euros.

Personally, I think you can put a price tag on it everywhere. With some products, you may need a little more imagination. Think about it:

  • What does the price tag look like for the problems, wishes and goals of your customers?

  • Do you work it regularly with your customers?

I think that's a real opportunity to sell.

What to do if the benefit is not quantifiable?

To attach a price tag to a challenge is always a good idea. Quantifying helps your customers make better decisions. Sometimes your contact person still has to sell the investment in his own company to the boss or other people. In such situations, the price tag gives the necessary argumentation power to the problem.

But there are also situations in which it is difficult or not appropriate to quantify. Perhaps the customer lacks patience, discipline, trust or simply the willingness to think through this path with you. Then the old rule applies:

If you can't quantify, then qualify"

How to qualify customer benefits with scaling questions

One way to qualify is to use the scaling question. The scaling question is: "On a scale of 1 to 10..." Let me give you an example:

"Mr. Qualifying Enemy, let's mentally take a scale of 1-10. 10 means that the topic costs us a large extent time, money or nerves. One thing means the situation is annoying in the worst case, but you can live with it. Where are you at the moment?"

If the answer is an 8, 9 or 10, everything is fine. At 6 or 7, I would be skeptical, it's enough to keep talking, but it's not a matter of course.

Does quantification really increase the perceived benefit for the customer?

Now you could object:

If I quantify cleanly and attach a price tag to the problem, then this insight is just as valuable to my competition as it is to me, isn't it?

This is true, but it always plays a role who brought this insight. Anyone who understands the customer best, goes through different perspectives with him and brings new insights into the sales conversation has a different place for the customer than the "on-on-over" colleague from the competition.

The perceived customer benefit results not only from the product solution, but also from the complete interaction with you and your product.

Is it crucial now if you do not quantify or qualify? The answer is a clear "maybe." It's not a sales technique that catapults you miles forward; if you don't attach a price tag to the problem, it's not a deal breaker, but maybe you get the "nose length" advantage that is decisive for the next order.

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