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Archive for October 22nd, 2009

Word on the Street — October 19th thru October 23rd

October 22nd, 2009 COMMENTS
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Selling Value in A Price-Driven Market

This week, I’d like to share an online article. The article struck a chord with me because it addresses “Value.” In nearly every face-to-face meeting I’ve had over the past 12-18 months with distributors, suppliers, and co-workers, they have  asked me how I define and sell value in a market dominated by price.

When apples are being compared to apples, especially in a price-driven market, how do I, as a salesperson, differentiate myself from the competition?

Rather than copying the entire article, here is the link: Give it a read or a listen. 

Everyday, we face many of the same issues. For example, rentals exhibits are huge right now. For those who have rental divisions that’s a good thing. But as a salesperson selling new exhibits, how can you move a prospective renter into a new purchase? In the current economy, the cards are often stacked against you.

But let’s use Bill’s logic from the article and apply it to exhibits . . .

Why not make your “new” exhibit offering so different and include so many additional benefits that the buyer assigns a value that exceeds the cost differential?

So how do you do this? I am not pretending to have all the answers, but for me, it starts with realizing that “Value” is not a concrete thing. It’s a moving target that can mean a million and one different things to different people. It doesn’t always mean the lowest price, and it’s something that cannot always be seen or shown in renderings or on a quote sheet. More often than not, it’s NOT something on the Front Page, but on the inside pages.

In the exhibits we design and manufacturer, value starts on the inside pages:  What happens once the order is placed? Here are some valuable add-ons that I believe sets us (and you) apart from our competition and allows you to succeed in less obvious ways: 

  • Fast and reliable turnaround times. With customers holding on to their money until the last minute that’s often the difference between getting the order and not getting the order.
  • Detailed setup instructions with actual photos showing the more complex components.
  • Setup instructions that are available 24 hours a day for download off the web should they ever get lost, misplaced, or destroyed (just go the home page at Classic and enter your job number).
  • Detailed, level-by-level or slipsheet-by-slipsheet packaging instructions. These details make it much easier to repack the exhibit and extend the life of the exhibit. EVERYONE wants and DESERVES obvious and reusable packaging.
  • A complete preview of every exhibit prior to leaving the shop, including graphics if provided. This allows us to send photos to you either before the exhibit ships or the next morning so you see that the display looked and functioned as designed. It’s immediate peace of mind. 
  • People:  Based on the feedback we receive from distributors, we believe our people are better. Whether they’re in customer service, design, production, or administration, our employees do more, care more, and are more knowledgeable than our competitors.

Finally, when it comes to selling exhibits, don’t get me wrong . . . design sells!! It’s the sizzle! Our designers are expected to hit a  home run on a 30′ x 30′ island for example. There is tremendous value in that. But when it comes to deciding whether to sign that $100,000 check, there better be more on the table than just design.  

How do you add value to the exhibits you sell?

Have a safe and restful weekend.

Be Well!

–Kevin Carty