It is time to decide and the decision is up to you.
The buyer is in charge today for about 80% of the purchases made. Of course, there are exceptions for products in bubbles or monopolies or critical shortage items, but for most everything else the internet has created transparency, google has made everything visible and social media creates knowledge and placed the power in the hands of each buyer just for the asking.
There is a saying in the market “you make money from your customer” or “you make money with your customer” and the market is watching to see which you do.
In other words, “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you say.”
The decision you must make is about your business model. Every business will need to select a model to align day-to-day operations with. One choice is to be a selling organization:
The other choice is a customer focused “value transfer”:
To experience the difference two hats are necessary to examine each choice. One hat is that of the seller and the other that of the buyer.
The selling model starts with the need for the seller to persuade someone to pay for something the seller is willing and able to part with. Of course, the seller has a vision of ideal buyers who “once they understand” how important the product can be will want to pay for it. Or the seller is sure the buyer already buys something like this and the sellers product is a much better option. Or the seller has developed the next generation of product and buyers just need to trust and buy.
The seller’s survival depends on persuading the buyer to buy. The power of persuasion includes helping the buyer understand the seller’s product, how to apply the products, the real seller promised outcomes, the difference between the seller’s product and the competitors (similar or same) products and of course why the price asked is better for the buyer than other sellers prices for products at least as good.
The seller hat in this case must persuade the buyer to pay at least a minimum price to survive and wins when that happens.
The buyer hat is feeling pressured. The seller’s goal is to get the buyer’s money to survive and the buyer’s goal to is to acquire only those things that help survival and positions to thrive. Since the seller is competing for the buyer’s money the buyer must decide:
Is the seller trustworthy?
What does the seller’s product really do?
Given what the seller’s product really does is there any value there?
If there is value how does it support the buyer’s strategy?
Does the value the product may produce have enough leverage to justify the price?
What is the risk of getting the product to produce the value?
How much outside help is needed to produce the required value?
If the seller or the product has negative surprise can we survive?
Does the seller have other products or services we may want or need?
If we don’t work with this seller what is the best option?
When the person across from you has the mission to persuade - your mission must be to separate the persuasion from the true value and risk to make your best decision.
Value transfer starts with two parties uniting to solve a problem resulting in more value for both parties than any other option. They will have experience and knowledge about the problem(s), the related activities, outcomes, process and metrics that when combined achieve a solution for the buyer that justifies the fee of the seller in the short-term and additional value for both over the long-term.
The Buyer and the Seller see the Buyer’s problem as a source of enough new value to be shared by both parties in the short-term and as the first step in a long-term value producing relationship.
Value Transfer is about “making money with your customer” – both parties are better off than they would be separately. This can be measured in risk reduction, more margin, more sales, new offers to the market, predictable growth, technology development, improved process, additional markets or many others. Often Value Transfer is a combination of these things that creates completely new outcomes neither organization could have developed separately.
While humans are often frail and can have selfish moments those committed to applying “Revenue Science™” to Value Transfer will overcome a momentary lapse and keep the organizations on mission for greater returns than any short-term distraction.
With Value Transfer the buyer and seller are motivated and focused on joint goals to be achieved for mutual success. The focus is on making money together, so these are examples of decisions to make:
What is the cost to the buyer of the problem(s)?
What is the value to the buyer for solving this problem(s)?
What are the additional impacts to the buyer’s business from solving this problem?
What does the buyer / seller partnership bring to solving the problem that creates additional value?
What are the short-term outcomes from the joint solution?
What are the long-term opportunities from solving the problem?
What are the long-term opportunities from the buyer / seller partnership?
What are the resource advantages from a buyer / seller partnership?
What additional revenue, margin, markets, etc. can be gained by short-term and long-term partnering to solve buyer problems?
When the person across from you has the mission to pass you the greatest value possible, so you are safe, can scale and attain thought leadership - your mission must be to determine if this is real, is this your best focus and use of resources. Then decide if jointly if you make more money solving this problem than any other option.
What You do Next Informs the World - if you will be selling to the buyer hoping you get your price or if you will be transferring value to the buyer, so you make more money together – than either of you do separately.
Remember the world is transparent and “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you are saying”.
Let your value delivered tell the world who you are!
Rick McPartlin founded The Revenue Game to help companies focus their organizations around the critical function of revenue generation. Rick has held senior executive positions and consulted for many Fortune 500 firms (Sun Microsystems, Siemens, McDonnell Douglas, and Bell South) and small companies alike, and he's shared his passion for "revenue generation as a science" for more than 20 years. Over the last 3 years Rick has started certifying revenue professions in “CRO (Chief Revenue Officer) Thinking” - the first level of “Revenue Science™” certification.