I have written a lot about value and I have gotten plenty of “signs” this week reminding me of what value really means.

I have said, many time,s that value is not always about money. To me when someone says “oh no, that’s just way too expensive”, it rarely means they don’t have enough money to pay for it. It usually means they have not yet found the VALUE to them. That’s the sales person or designer’s job.

Just think about how many people have figured out how to pay for those very expensive flat screen televisions or the lines that formed in 2009 (the height of the bad economy) for Ipads. Do you really think ALL those people thought “we can’t afford this?” Of course not. And why do you think that is? Because the companies knew that they had already uncovered (through very good marketing and research) that people would feel they NEEDED all of these devices!

Another example I always use is Starbucks. Now the same cup of coffee can be bought at Dunkin Doughnuts or McDonalds for a little over a dollar. But many (and I mean 10 billion dollars many)still choose Starbucks. And those that choose Starbucks are not considering the value of that $4.00 cup of coffee when they reach into their wallets, do they? It’s of value to them. Starbucks created that value not with coffee but with the experience that people crave. That’s REALLY why people pay more.

Now, not everyone is going to understand the value of what you offer; just as their are some that think Starbucks is way overpriced and get their coffee elsewhere. But that is not a Starbucks customer.

The object of selling services or product is not trying to appeal to everyone, but to find and appeal to the few that will find value in what you offer. The best first step is to thoroughly qualify clients. Not to just jump into your presentation. Ask questions..lots of them. They will not only use “the too expensive” excuse, they will find what you offer a bargain.

Last week I was training a sales representative for one of my clients. The product was leather. I spoke with the rep and asked that she qualify the account before she took me there. Find out if showing them leather would be of value to them.

1. Do they use leather?

2. How often?

3. Do they have current projects where they may be using leather right now?

Just this first step determines the value of what you are going to show them and how viable an account they will be. Then the sales process (not presenting!) begins! And guess what? Price becomes less important.

This works with any service or product because the focus then becomes solving current needs, not product or service. If you focus on that, you throw yourself into the black hole of competition! Then price DOES become the focus!