As a sales professional, your job is to sell. However, how often do you feel like you’re selling just to make a quota? You don’t have to sell just for the sake of selling. Lestraundra Alfred, a staff writer for the HubSpot Sales Blog, says you can stand out from the competition by taking a values-based approach. Through this approach, you can focus more on benefitting the customer throughout the sales process.

Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today to learn Alfred’s seven key principles of values-based selling.

1. Do your homework. You can’t put your prospect’s needs first if you don’t know what their needs are. That’s why Alfred says it is critical to do your homework to understand your contact. As you prepare for your call, consider the prospect’s current role, experience and common connections. It’s also helpful to review their company’s website, press and social media pages. You can learn a lot about the industry landscape by performing a Google search on their company’s competitors.

2. Don’t jump into your sales pitch too early. In addition to helping you build trust with the prospect, not jumping immediately into your pitch can give you more insight into how you can best provide value, notes Alfred. This allows you to better position your product for the sale.

3. Communicate how your product provides value to the customer. Make sure the benefits of your product are easy to understand and relevant to your prospect. Alfred says that whatever those unique differentiators are, make sure they are aligned with customer needs.

4. Focus on teaching instead of selling. Alfred is a proponent of an education-first approach because this helps build trust. Once trust is established, your offering is far more appealing because you have already demonstrated value instead of pushing the sale.

5. Guide the prospect through the buying process. When taking a value-based approach, it’s important to act as a consultant. Share fresh ideas and strategies that can help your prospect improve their own competitive positioning.

6. Keep a personable approach. As you embark on value-based selling, Alfred recommends keeping a conversational, personable tone when engaging with your prospects. This shows you have a genuine interest in them and are not merely talking at them to make the sale.

7. Add value during every interaction. According to Alfred, adding value could look like making sure you leave plenty of time to answer questions in each meeting or sharing helpful articles even when you aren’t actively engaged in a sales conversation. The small steps you take to make your prospect’s job easier can pay dividends in the long run.

Your prospects are likely bombarded with messages pressuring them to buy. By taking a values-based approach, you can stand out from the rest and help create meaningful relationships. The next time you approach a prospect, consider the seven principles above to bring more value. The positive results just may surprise you.

Source: Lestraundra Alfred is a staff writer for the HubSpot Sales Blog.