yet, provide the customer with a testimonial supporting
Finding Ways To Create More Value
Andy Grove, the Intel founder, famously said, “Success
breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only
the paranoid survive.”
Too often, salespeople become complacent with their
top customers. A complacent salesperson works just hard
enough to merely satisfy the customer. Creating more
value begins with embracing the right attitude.
A little paranoia can do some good. What if your best
customer was really your best prospect? Would you treat
the customer differently? Chances are you would try a
little harder and think a little deeper. You would obsess
over new ideas or new ways to create value for that
prospect. Remember, your best customer is a prospect…
for the competition. Right now, there is another
salesperson competing just as hard — maybe even harder
— for that opportunity.
Look for ways to reinvent yourself to relevance and
create more value for your customers. Ask yourself these
three questions to get started:
• What does my customer hate doing that I can do
• How can I improve our end-to-end customer
• What can I do to make it easier to do business
with our company?
Selling value is one of the greatest challenges
salespeople face. Depending on your attitude, these three
challenges represent either a hurdle or an opportunity.
Start with the right person. Identify and pursue the high-level decision maker from the very beginning. Demonstrate
how a partnership with your company will help the
HLDM achieve their business objectives. Be prepared to
answer the question, “What makes you different from
the competition?” Finally, never stop looking for ways to
create value for your best customers. Remember, your best
customer is the competition’s best prospect.
Paul Reilly is president of Reilly Sales Training, a St.
Louis-based privately-owned company that specializes in
training sales professionals, sales managers and service
professionals. Call Paul at 636-778-0175 or email him at