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  • Bob Burg

“You've basically revolutionized the way we are doing business. . . Your teaching style is very, very effective.”

~ Thomas J. Bartosic, SVP, Career Sales, G.E. Financial Assurance

In the Eyes of the Beholder

March 24th, 2014 by Bob Burg

In-the-eyes-of-the-beholder-Bob-BurgWhile price is a dollar amount, value is the relative worth or desirability of a thing (product, service, idea, opportunity, etc.) to the end user or beholder.

If you want to sell successfully, it’s vital to remember this…

“Value is always in the eyes of the beholder.”

Ask questions to better understand THEIR wants & needs. What we (the salesperson) believe to be the main benefits and value of our product or service may not be what our prospect believes them to be.

And, the selling process is not about us; it’s about them.

So, be sure to ask the right questions and then listen for the answers that will help you to connect the benefits (value) of your product or service with the wants, needs and desires of your prospect.

Because, remember, it’s what they find to be of value; not what we find to be of value, that ultimately counts.

9 Responses to “In the Eyes of the Beholder”
  1. Mary Silva said at 5:05 pm on

    Great post, Bob! Short, sweet and oh so TRUE!
    In the Custom Clothing business, I have witnessed salespeople breaking this rule time and time again. I have watched a salesperson go on and on about features and benefits or what Super 150′s means…. assuming the prospect or client will be impressed, when if fact he could care less. Like you said, asking questions and listening to the answers must happen in the selling process!
    I will share this great blog post with our salespeople! Thanks again.

  2. Bob Burg said at 5:12 pm on

    Mary: Thank you. Indeed, we all have to keep this in mind on a conscious and ongoing business. That was a great example you provided regarding clothing. Easy to see how this can happen; the salesperson enjoys (and is genuinely excited about) a certain feature/benefit about custom clothing and assumes that’s what the prospect will see in it, too. And, sometimes the salesperson and the prospect actually will value the same thing and a sale will take place. But, that is a matter of luck, and luck only; not something upon which we want to base a sales career. Thank you so much again for sharing with us!

  3. […] So again, meet the needs and desires of the other person and see what happens. Want to read Burg’s full article on the subject? Click Here […]

  4. Mitch Jackson said at 2:17 pm on

    Bob,

    Great tip. It’s all about understanding and appreciating the customer’s wants and needs. I might add that sometimes, as a professional, it’s my job to ascertain the clients wants and needs and then based upon the feedback, educate the client with additional legal rights and options. Sometimes during this dialog the client’s wants and needs change or expand allowing for me to get the green light to do all I can. Rarely do clients know all options when they come in to see me for the first time.

    As for Mary’s comments, I love it when clothing salespeople (experts) tell me which tie goes with a particular jacket and shirt. Most of the time what I think I want isn’t close to fashionably acceptable. I’m a guy. I need all the help I can get :-)

  5. Absolutely so true… great wisdom as always… never about us always about them

  6. Bob Burg said at 6:52 pm on

    Mitch: Thank you for your feedback and thoughts. Indeed, I agree with you completely that focusing on the client’s wants and needs does NOT mean that we sell re-actively as though we are a store cashier ringing up a sale based only on what they have gotten off the shelves. To the degree that we focus on their wants/needs and listen intently, both to what they say and what they don’t say, we then know what will benefit them… that they might not be aware of. That’s why it’s called selling rather than order-taking. The prospective client typically doesn’t know nearly as much about our product or service (and all of its potential uses/benefits) as does the salesperson. And, it takes a skilled and caring salesperson to discover this, match the benefits with their wants/needs, and communicate effectively how and why it would be best for the client. Perhaps I should have said that. Or, perhaps this should be the next post. LOL. As you said so well, “Rarely do clients know all options when they come in to see me for the first time.”

  7. Bob Burg said at 6:52 pm on

    Carly: Thank you so much!

  8. Steve Keating said at 8:35 am on

    As we taught in the Dale Carnegie course years ago and how they still teach today, people buy for their reasons not yours. When we attempt to sell our benefits, what we “think” we’ve built into the product we might say something that makes sense to the prospect. When we sell the real benefits, the ones that they foresee, then we will earn the business.

    Of course we learn of the benefits that they foresee by asking good questions and LISTENING! Something we all seem to forget sometimes.

  9. Bob Burg said at 8:43 am on

    Steve: Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. Indeed, I’ve often said that the entire premise of Dale Carnegie’s classic, “How to Win Friends And Influence People” was that, “Ultimately, people do things for *their* reasons, not for *our* reasons.” And, as you said, in order to know their reasons, we must listen! Thank you, Steve, for adding great value to the conversation!

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