Building Value

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Sales 100 - Building Basic Sales | Sales Tips

A prospect decides to make a purchase when he realizes that there is more value in the product than there is in his money.

At its core, that’s your job: Demonstrating the value of your product.

Value is the reason people buy.

That is true 100% of the time.

Value is a mental picture.

Value typically is not tangible.

To understand how value fits into your sales process and how to present value to your customers, we need to step back a little bit and talk about some sales buzzwords that have been around for a very long time




I often see salespeople who can easily draw the line between feature and benefit.  Few, however, do a great job of demonstrating the value of the benefit.  Let’s start with a basic definition of those two basic sales concepts

Feature: A thing your product has.

Benefit: The thing your feature does.

Value: Why your customer cares.

The easiest, and most common, feature/benefit correlation is with a drill bit

Every sales trainer everywhere has attempted to tie it together with the drill bit/hole example.

You’re not selling the drill bit, you’re selling the hole.  Here’s how that sounds:

“Our carbon fiber, laser sharpened, tungsten steel drill bits drill a perfect hole every time.  Just look how perfect that hole is!”

As I mentioned earlier, this skips the final and most important step:  Demonstrating Value.

The way you demonstrate value is by demonstrating why the feature benefits your customer. And that answer will vary.


Since we’re selling drill bits, ask yourself, “what does that perfect hole mean to my customer?”

  • Will it allow your customer to drill faster?
  • Will it give your customer’s products a better fit and finish?
  • Will it help a craftsman show his son the value of a quality tool?

Not only are you not selling the bit, but you’re also not selling the hole.

You’re selling what the hole represents to this individual customer

I prefer to think in pictures.

A FEATURE is demonstrated as a picture of the thing

A BENEFIT is demonstrated as a picture of the thing doing what it does

The VALUE is demonstrated by a picture of your customer enjoying the benefit.

The FEATURE is the carbon fiber, laser sharpened, tungsten steel drill bit.

The BENEFIT is the thing doing what it does

The VALUE is the image Dad has of his son and him working in the shop together.

Let’s take this out of the abstract and into a real-life situation by building value in a vehicle’s radio

Feature:  Infiniti’s Bose Performance Series Entertainment System with 17 high-performance speakers, Advanced Staging, AudioPilot, Centerpoint, SurroundStage, and Active Sound Management technologies.

Benefit:  An amazing sounding radio

Now, let’s demonstrate value to the customer:

Based on what you told me, Mr. Customer, I think you’re going to love the Bose Performance Series Entertainment System in your new Infiniti.  Here’s why:  The 17 high-performance speakers alone are going to completely envelop you in sound.  You mentioned that you like 80s rock.  Well, wait until you’re in rush hour traffic on that long commute of yours and you’ve got Pour Some Sugar On Me coming through in perfect clarity because of the SurroundStage and AudioPilot.  You’ll probably start looking forward to your commute, just so you can escape the world inside your Q50.

This value proposition is only relevant if the customer has a long or frustrating commute, enjoys 80s rock, is somewhat of an audiophile.  The value proposition of this sound system would be completely different if your customer listens to AM talk radio.  In fact, you may want to minimize the amazing (and expensive) sound system since high fidelity listening is likely, not important to your customer.  

The FEATURE is the thing. 

The BENEFIT is what it does. 

The VALUE is why your customer cares.

Understand this well:  If your customer doesn’t see value in the feature, then it is a waste of his money.

 If your customer doesn’t see value in the feature, then he will likely see it as a waste of his money.

To learn what is important to your customer — where he will find value — you will need to perform a terrific needs assessment and build quality rapport.  Learn to build rapport here.

In our Master Classes and individual modules, you can learn what questions to ask and how to ask them in ways that will help you build rapport and easily discover how to build value for your customer.

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