Didn’t win the sale?

Price probably had something to do with it.

Most companies and their salesforce (whether they’re engineers, lawyers, architects or consultants) argue that whenever they lose a sale, price was the main issue.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard one or more of the following:

“The client got it cheaper with our competitor”

“We were too expensive”

“The client didn’t have the budget”

Either of these might be true, but these are all symptoms of an underlying cause – the client didn’t see the value.

The reason why the client doesn’t see the value is because they don’t realize how big their need actually is (or potentially what their main need even is).

Before we get to the heart of the matter, let me know if you’ve ever heard any of the following:

“The client have no idea what they want”

“It would be much easier it they just told me what they needed”

“They didn’t have a need that matched our solution”

Again – all of these are symptoms of an underlying cause – namely the inability to close the value gap.

The value gap is the distance between what the client wants and what the client needs

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the circle representing the client’s needs is a lot bigger than the one representing their wants.

This is no accident.

In almost every case, the underlying need is much bigger than the expressed want, and it is up to us as advisors to close that gap.

And closing that gap all starts with one pesky little question: “Why?” (and one is why is usually not enough)

Let’s say the client says he wants a five day training workshop.


Because we want our people to do better.


Because sales are declining.


Because we’re getting outcompeted on price, and we don’t know how to sell a premium product in a commoditized marketplace. 


Now we’re getting somewhere.

But it took three “why’s” to get to that point, and now we know what it is that’s really going on.

Now we can slowly start adding value by sharing our expertise around how to sell a premium product in a commoditized marketplace.

And because we are most likely the only ones to deeply understand the client’s needs, we are also much more likely to be able to charge a premium price. 

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