Frederik Van Lierde

Building Value Before Price

A common challenge many sales professionals face is the conversation's inevitable turn to price. The key to navigating this shift gracefully lies in building value so effectively that by the time price enters the discussion, the client is already convinced of the product's worth. Building Value Before Price

Understanding the Importance of Value-First Conversations

Why it's crucial:
The moment a conversation starts with price, it becomes the focal point, overshadowing the product's benefits and its potential impact on the client's needs. By steering the discussion towards value first, sales professionals can create a strong foundation that emphasizes the product's benefits and its alignment with the client's goals. This approach not only makes price a secondary consideration but also builds a relationship based on trust and understanding.

How to pivot the focus to value:
Start by thoroughly understanding your product and its market. Know the ins and outs, the problems it solves, and how it stands out from the competition. Equipped with this knowledge, you can confidently steer the conversation towards how your product or service can specifically benefit the client, addressing their needs and objectives directly.

Practical tips
  1. Listen First: Begin by listening to your client's needs, challenges, and goals. This will allow you to tailor your value proposition directly to them.
  2. Educate and Inform: Instead of selling, focus on educating your client about how your product or service can solve their specific problems.
  3. Use Stories: People connect with stories. Share success stories of how your product has helped others in similar situations.

Preemptively Addressing Price Concerns Through Value

Addressing price concerns before they arise allows you to control the narrative. It prevents price from becoming a barrier by establishing the product's value so clearly that the cost becomes justified in the client's mind.

How to address price concerns with value
One effective strategy is to highlight the long-term benefits and ROI of your product or service. Show how, over time, the value offered far outweighs the initial cost. This can be particularly effective for products or services that offer efficiency savings, increased productivity, or other measurable benefits.

Practical tips
  1. Break Down the Value:
    Illustrate how the cost is broken down and what the client is paying for. Transparency builds trust.
  2. Compare and Contrast:
    Gently compare your product with less expensive alternatives, highlighting what your client would miss out on by focusing solely on price.
  3. Future Forecasting:
    Discuss the future state of their business with and without your product, emphasizing the positive impact and ROI.

Implementing Value-First Strategies: Real-World Examples

Looking at successful companies can provide valuable insights into how value-first strategies can be implemented effectively.

Apple is a prime example of a company that excels in building value before discussing price. Their product launches and marketing efforts focus heavily on innovation, quality, and the unique ecosystem their products operate within.

By the time the price is revealed, consumers are already convinced of the value these products bring to their lives. Apple's approach involves showcasing the product's design, features, and the overall experience it offers, making price a secondary consideration for many of its customers.

Tesla has revolutionized the electric vehicle market not by competing on price, but by offering unparalleled value in terms of innovation, performance, and sustainability.

Tesla's focus on these aspects ensures that discussions about price come after the potential buyer has been thoroughly introduced to the value the cars offer. Through high-quality product demonstrations, engaging storytelling about the brand's mission, and highlighting the long-term savings on fuel and maintenance, Tesla effectively communicates its vehicles' value proposition.

Practical Actions for Sales Professionals

Building value before price is not just a strategy but a comprehensive approach that involves understanding your product, your client, and the market. Here are some actionable steps sales professionals can take:
  1. Develop a Deep Product Knowledge
    Know every benefit, feature, and advantage your product offers. This knowledge will allow you to tailor your value proposition to each client's specific needs.
  2. Focus on Relationship Building
    Establishing a strong rapport with clients ensures that your conversations can go beyond price, focusing on how your product fits into their broader goals and challenges.
  3. Use Visuals and Demonstrations
    Sometimes, showing is better than telling. Use visuals, demos, or case studies to illustrate your product's value in a tangible way.
  4. Be Prepared to Discuss ROI
    Be ready with data and examples that illustrate the return on investment your clients can expect. This shifts the conversation from cost to value.


  1. Focus on the Unique Benefits of Your Offering
    It's vital to highlight what makes your product or service stand out from the competition. This means identifying and clearly communicating the unique benefits and the specific problems it solves for your customers.

    By doing so, you shift the conversation from cost to value, making the price a secondary consideration in the customer's decision-making process.
  2. Understand and Align with Customer Needs
    Deeply understanding your customer's needs, challenges, and pain points allows you to tailor your value proposition to resonate more strongly with them. This alignment ensures that when you discuss your offering, it's framed as a solution to their specific issues, thus reinforcing its value and justifying the price.

    Engaging with customers through active listening and empathy builds trust and demonstrates your commitment to serving their interests.
  3. Educate Your Customers
    Education plays a crucial role in building value. By informing customers about the features, advantages, and benefits of your product or service, you empower them to make an informed decision. This educational process should also include providing insights into the broader industry, trends, and how your offering fits into this context.

    The goal is to help customers understand not just the "what" but the "why" behind your product or service, thereby highlighting its intrinsic value and setting a foundation for a price that reflects this value.