“Commodities” used to mean things like wheat. Now yesterday’s technological miracle becomes today’s commodity at blinding speed. Regardless of your industry, chances are that your competitors sell wares identical or very similar to yours. This means that every day it gets harder to distinguish your products and services by traditional criteria of features and benefits.

How do you manage sales calls when the products you offer are commodities, basically no different than those available from your competitors? Unless you do something to change the terms of the conversation, the only issue on the table will be price. That traps you in a doomed race to the bargain basement.

Are there any sales skills that can help you escape that trap? In sales training programs and sales coaching efforts based on the Action Selling system, we teach that the way to change the game is to focus on client needs that are far from obvious. We call them Best Value Needs. They can be the levers that pry you out of the commodity trap.

Unlike commodity needs that any vendor can satisfy, and unlike differentiated needs that only your company can satisfy, Best Value Needs are customer concerns that your competitors could address with their own capabilities—but won’t. Either it won’t occur to them because they haven’t discovered these BVNs, or you can provide a solution in a tangibly better way.

Best Value Needs let you escape the price trap

What kinds of sales skills allow you to uncover BVNs? Our sales training courses and sales coaching programs teach that you do it by asking great questions. Suppose your product has a feature that can provide the customer with timely management information that could be used to improve performance. You might ask questions like these: What problems arise when you lack the information you need to determine the best course of action in a situation? What are the potential consequences of making decisions without timely and accurate data? How would making the wrong decision impact you personally?

When customers agree that timely and accurate information is critical to the company and to them personally, you are in a fantastic position to respond to a Best Value Need. Once you have agreed with the customer on that BVN, target it when you present your solution. With the right sales training and sales coaching, you can learn to differentiate yourself by demonstrating extreme value.

For information about how to improve sales skills and make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485.

Duane Sparks

About Duane Sparks

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling.  He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations.  Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).