The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Tip: Tell People the Value You Add

Don't be shy about differentiating yourself to customers.

Service continues to be a critical part of the value delivered by distributors. Don't be shy about sharing the reasons why your service ­– not just your price ­– is superior to the competition's, says Tim Underhill, president of Underhill & Associates, in How to Get Customers to Fight for You.

Most distributors are showing more interest in developing better ways to prove value. The challenge, Underhill says, is that while they likely already provide a lot of value, they don’t always do a great job documenting it.

“Most of the documentation is around price savings and a little bit of inventory savings,” Underhill says. “What’s happening is you’re telling customers that your real value-add is the lower price if that is all you’re documenting.”

Documenting lower price and inventory savings is easy. But documenting benefits like technical support and problem-solving is much harder. Many distributors have not developed the skill set and processes to be able to do that well.

Building the necessary skills starts with training, but it doesn’t end there, Underhill says.

“The best thing to do is practice it,” he says. Have salespeople do one documentation a week, and start simple.

Read more about how to document your value and differentiate yourself in the customer's eyes in How to Get Customers to Fight for You.

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