​First Steps Toward Value-Added Selling

In today's market, customers want individual solutions. A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works — companies must match products and services to individual customer needs. So how do you determine the specific needs of your customers?

Do some homework.

If the customer is a nursery, garden center or landscape designer, visit their website or review advertising and product literature.

Sit down in person.

A more personal approach involves a one-on-one personal meeting to dig a little deeper; posing open-ended questions related to specific areas of their operation. Express your desire to understand more about their vision for the company — goals, ambitions, objectives — and offer ideas on how you can help them get where they want to go.

Take a tour.

Ask to take a tour of your customer's facility and inquire about how you can add value to their operation with the services you provide.

Value-added sellers strive to understand what is unique about the customer and their business; then determine if there is a product or service that meets those needs.