Increase sales by communicating the 3 Pillars of Value
Purchasing decisions are based on 3 pillars of value: Product, Process, and Service. Learn to understand and communicate all 3 to increase your sales, regardless of industry.
3 Pillars of Value
Purchasing decisions are based on 3 aspects of what is being offered: Product, Process, and Service, or the 3 Pillars of Value. Communicating these three things well is the deciding factor in many sales pitches. Fail to communicate these things well and your deals will wind up “no decision” or upsetting your customer.
If you’ve lost sales because a prospective customer seems to be speaking a different language, you just might be focusing on the wrong combination of these three pillars. This is especially true if you’ve made a transition between B2B and B2C sales.
What are the 3 pillars of value?
Let’s define our terms so we can get on the same page, okay?
Product – The solution and what it costs
Your customer has a problem, you have a solution, and there’s a price tag attached to it. This is your Product. This pillar is the solution, how it works, and what it costs.
Process – The road to receiving the solution
Customers must go through some Process to buy your solution. Perhaps the product has several options, variations, or can be customized to some degree. You might have different payment or delivery options, or even minimum order quantities. All of these are your Process.
Service – Ensuring the solution fits and the road can be traveled
Often, customers want you to customize your process or make exceptions. Other times they need help navigating the process or understanding how to get the best value out of the product after they purchase it. Sometimes they’re not happy with your product after they’ve purchased. Service is the way you handle these things.
Every customer weighs Product, Process, and Service differently whether they realize it or not. In fact, when a customer doesn’t fully understand these three aspects of your offer it can not only delay purchase decisions, it can also lead to an upset customer who is negatively surprised.
Focusing on the wrong pillar loses sales
Many sales can be lost when negotiations focus too heavily on one of these 3 values. Often, it is the customer who drives this. Raise your hand if you’ve had a deal lost to no decision after endless negotiation on price? We’ve all been there. When that happened, did you consider negotiating on Process or Service instead?
In my industry nearly every sales deal starts at Product. The customer wants to know if x amount of problem can be handled for y dollars. It’s easily an endless race to the bottom, and when negotiations remain on this topic the deals don’t close. Many people don’t think about the costs a bad Process or Service may have, and sales reps are just as guilty.
The next time you’re stuck in a hard selling situation, step back and look at what your prospect is trying to negotiate about. Ask questions. You may find the real pain point is actually a different pillar of value than you or your prospect realize.