With so much competition in today’s business world and new competitors emerging constantly, differentiating your product or service on its own merits has become difficult. Your target audience can use the internet to find offerings similar to yours at a moment’s notice. Relying on your product’s uniqueness to make sales just doesn’t work.
Instead of trying to do that, you can focus on selling value instead. Value selling is one of the most valuable tools for modern sales strategies. Here’s what you need to know about value-based selling and ten value selling examples that show how major companies are doing it right.
What is Value Selling?
Value selling is the process of positioning your offerings based on the value your prospects will receive from your products or solutions. . Instead of focusing on a product or service alone, you focus on its broader impact on their business. This has two significant benefits.
First, value-based selling puts the price of your product or service into context. If buying your product saves your customer $100,000, your product’s $10,000 price tag becomes very attractive. Value-based selling shifts your customers’ frame of reference from the immediate cost of the product to the overall impact it can have against their strategic initiatives and goals.
Second, value selling helps you address the needs of your client upfront. When your company focuses on providing value to customers, you’re more likely to help them find the right solution. It will also help your business tailor products towards your clients’ specific needs.
If you want to learn more about value-based selling, check out DecisionLink’s Ultimate Guide to Value-Based & Value-Added Selling.
Why Value-Based Selling Is So Successful
Compared to other types of selling, like feature-based or solution-based methods, value-based selling stands out. Value selling works for one simple reason: it helps your clients easily overcome their fear of change by having a clear understanding of the end result.
Value selling involves three major steps. First, you remind your prospects about their current pain points. Second, you show them how your product will solve those problems. Third, you show them the steps they can take to make that change.
This strategy follows the Dannemiller model for change management. In combination, these steps help prospects overcome their resistance to change more effectively than any other sales method.
Value selling is very different from other selling models. Solution-based selling only offers a narrow vision for the future. Meanwhile, feature-based selling doesn’t look to the future at all — the client is left to fill in the blanks themselves. Value selling meets every element of the Dannemiller method, so it can overcome high levels of organizational resistance to change. For you, that means more sales. For your buyer, that means they find the perfect solution to the issues they might be having and a solution to help them achieve their strategic initiatives.
What is a Value Proposition
Value selling is centered on a “value proposition,” sometimes called a “unique selling proposition” or USP. It’s the value your product or service provides that none of your competitors can match. It’s the answer to “why should we choose you?”
Your USP is the foundation of the rest of your value selling framework. To identify your value proposition, you need to answer three questions:
- What is your ideal customer profile? What do those customers want to solve? Are you targeting underserved or overserved customers? What are the main goals or initiatives that customers like this are facing? Are there any common pain points that this market has? What are the emotional drivers of purchasing?
- What customer needs do you want to meet? Is there a specific, unique solution you offer? Do you have a unique ability to meet demand? Are there any customer needs that only your organization can help them achieve?
- What are the customer’s fears or pains? What risks are customers facing or taking by switching to your product or service? What is bothering your customer? What is preventing them from achieving their goals?
Here’s how ten top brands implemented value selling after identifying their own USP.
Ten Brands That Get Value Selling Right
The first value selling example that comes to mind is UPS. UPS is one of the premier shipping companies globally, and it achieved that status by providing value to clients. The company offers a wide variety of shipping methods, focusing on meeting the needs of its business customers. UPS has built a global shipping infrastructure, so it’s uniquely able to handle everything from international to local deliveries of all sizes.
On the UPS Shipping page, the company states its value proposition outright: “Broad services for business shipping.” They then explain the range of services it offers and emphasize their ability to support different needs, encouraging potential clients to click the calls to action that are placed lower on the page. It sells UPS based on the value of future convenience, simplicity, and flexibility.
UPS neatly uses all three elements of the Dannemiller method. It reminds prospects about the difficulties inherent in shipping large objects or long distances. It offers a vision for the future: shipping solutions that will continue to fit the customer’s business as they grow. Finally, it provides several steps the reader can take to fix different pain points. The page sells prospects on the value of using UPS shipping in just a few sentences.
The rise of rideshares is directly attributable to Uber, and that’s because Uber has perfected value selling. Uber’s USP is the ability to provide consumers with quick, convenient transportation on demand. On Uber’s rider page, the company has refined that value proposition to just 16 persuasive words.
With the headline “Always the ride you want,” Uber neatly points out the problem with other commuting options. It reminds the reader about the hassle of taxis, the lack of control that comes with public transportation, or the difficulties of driving themselves. It also positions Uber as the alternative without those problems. Potential riders are sold on the value of never waiting for unreliable transport ever again.
The subheading reinforces that positioning. By breaking down the rideshare process into three simple steps, Uber emphasizes its convenient, on-demand nature. Finally, the call to action stands out from the rest of the page, giving the reader a clear step to take.
Few brands use value-based selling as effectively as Apple. Since its iconic iPod ads, where the body of the user was presented as a graceful silhouette, its marketing has been selling Apple products as a lifestyle. The value Apple offers is found in the style, freedom, and simplicity the brand embodies, not the products themselves.
Their newest line of Mac computers is advertised with the tagline, “Incredible power. Incredibly simple,” emphasizing Apple’s focus on user-friendly design and functionality. The tagline simultaneously offers consumers a beautiful, powerful new machine while reminding them about the complications of other operating systems.
The MacOS USP is directly beside the computer ad. Since all Macs use MacOS, it serves to reinforce the Mac USP. “Doing it all, in all new ways” targets Apple customers’ love of flexibility and cutting-edge design. Combining the two ads reinforces Apple’s brand, supports the company’s position as an innovator and encourages customers to upgrade to the latest Apple product — which is why it makes the perfect value selling example.
Starbucks is sometimes the target of jokes because of its sheer ubiquity — there’s one on every corner. Still, the company had to get a lot of things right to become so omnipresent. Few brands have the same number of loyal, frequent customers as the Seattle coffee chain. Starbucks built that following by moving beyond the feature-based marketing of many food chains and into value selling.
Starbucks has been using an experience-oriented USP for decades. Instead of focusing on their taste, the coffee chain makes its drinks part of a lifestyle. Its summer marketing campaign uses the phrase “Happy Place Found” to market their frozen Frappuccinos. They position iced lemonade as an accessory, something for customers to enjoy with summer activities, in Instagram ads.
This type of lifestyle USP causes people to view Starbucks drinks as more than just beverages. The ads encourage customers to think about Starbucks in terms of community and recreation. The Instagram campaign even positions Starbucks as an essential part of avoiding the summer heat with friends. The result is a compelling value selling campaign that keeps customers coming back.
Microsoft is one of the biggest technology companies in the world–and an fantastic value selling example. Though they provide everything from the Windows OS to the Edge browser to the Xbox gaming system, Microsoft Office is where their value selling approach shines.
It would be easy to sell Office based on its features and solutions — after all, Microsoft Office is one of the most comprehensive suites of productivity apps in the world. But Microsoft understands that the real value of the Office suite isn’t found in individual apps. Office is valuable because it helps people get work done.
The USP on the Office homepage makes that clear. It doesn’t name any specific product features, because the assumption is that people visiting the Office page are familiar with the suite. Instead, it positions Office as a “place,” focusing on the suite as an integrated ecosystem where work gets done. The USP uses the words create, communicate, and collaborate, which neatly summarize the suite’s overall utility.
Finally, Microsoft leverages consumer familiarity at the bottom of the page by encouraging people to access their “favorite productivity apps,” encouraging visitors to feel a sense of ownership. The call to action places Microsoft as familiar, comforting, and easy to use.
Weebly is a free website platform that’s powered by Square, the popular mobile credit card processor. Weebly’s value proposition is simple: clients can create a long-term website that looks good and works well without spending money. That’s almost unheard of in the web design space.
Weebly has to compete with a variety of other free website hosting platforms. To stand out, they focus on two elements: ease-of-use and growth. Weebly provides a wide variety of customizable, good-looking templates that customers can use to produce beautiful sites.
Meanwhile, Weebly offers upgrades for clients whose sites have grown beyond the restrictions of the free services tier. These tools let Weebly’s clients grow without the need to find a new website host. By emphasizing the platform’s power and utility, Weebly offers unique value in the site-building space.
There’s more to Weebly’s USP than its offerings, however. The way it’s written is impactful on its own. The company uses the phrase “get access,” which gives a sense of exclusivity to the USP. That helps counterbalance the common tendency to undervalue free services. It also encourages readers to sign up, so they don’t miss out.
Another excellent value selling example is Mint. Mint is a comprehensive financial management app offered by Intuit, the financial services company behind TurboTax. Mint’s USP is elegant in its simplicity. Mint reminds the reader that managing money is a hassle in the first line and offers itself as a solution. The USP describes the many features it provides, including personalized insights and budgeting, and finishes with the biggest benefit: Mint is free.
The progression through the USP is effective for three reasons. First, it inspires the reader to see managing money as an “experience” rather than a chore, reassuring people who may be nervous about their financial abilities.
Second, it pitches the app as a way to “reach your goals,” creating a future where the user’s financial goals have been achieved. Finally, by ending the pitch with the idea that it’s free, Mint lets people know they have nothing to lose by signing up. It’s a neat funnel that leads directly to the call to sign up. Paired with clean branding, Mint’s home page is a master class in value selling.
HelloFresh is a direct-to-consumer meal delivery kit. However, the service doesn’t sell itself based on food. Instead, it focuses on how ordering meal kits helps make cooking a no-stress process.
The company’s simple, impactful value proposition is that it makes meals less stressful. Customers who receive the kits are promised simple, easy-to-follow recipes that get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. HelloFresh also provides all the ingredients customers need, so there’s no need to go grocery shopping
HelloFresh supports its claims, too. The tagline “America’s Most Popular Meal Kit” is a handy piece of social proof. Readers are more likely to believe the value claims HelloFresh makes because so many other people already trust them.
HelloFresh understands that it’s positioned between grocery stores and takeout. By showing customers that it offers the best of both worlds, the company sells itself with its unique value.
Everyone working in eCommerce has heard about this value selling example, Shopify, and with good reason. Shopify’s USP is based on its comprehensive, flexible eCommerce platform. The service is designed to let people sell any product online without needing to use multiple providers.
Shopify focuses on that value from the beginning. The first thing readers see on the page is the value proposition: brands can use Shopify to “sell, ship, and process payments anywhere.” That’s a powerful claim. The company reiterates it down the page, with more specific information:
By explaining that Shopify can help you “start, run, and grow your business,” it appeals to multiple audience segments at once. They meet a broad range of needs, and that’s exactly where its value is found. Customers can choose Shopify at any point in their eCommerce career and trust that the platform will support them in the future.
Meanwhile, Shopify demonstrates its value with an excellent social proof statement: “More than a million of the world’s most successful brands trust Shopify.” It also offers a free trial immediately. Prospects who see those two elements are much more likely to trust Shopify’s value claims.
Another B2B business that understands value selling is Unbounce. The company’s mission is to help customers improve their conversion rates, so it’s only natural that its website is excellent at communicating value. Unbounce highlights its value proposition directly on its homepage: custom landing pages can help businesses make more sales with less effort.
Specifically, Unbounce emphasizes how little work it will take to increase conversions. Emphasizing “no coding required” on the front page addresses the pain point of complicated, time-consuming site design. Prospects who aren’t comfortable with programming are introduced to a future where they can optimize their site quickly and easily. That’s a compelling vision that can help prospects overcome their aversion to change.
To support its value, Unbounce also offers a free trial directly on the page. Free trials are an excellent tool for reducing prospects’ barriers to change. The ability to try a service for free removes the fear of wasting money on something that doesn’t work. People are more likely to buy when they have experienced the value of an offering first-hand.
What We Can Learn From These Value Selling Examples
If there’s one thing to take away from these value selling examples, it’s that it doesn’t need to be complex. In fact, when you’re clear about the value you offer clients, you can streamline your sales to just a few sentences. Brands like Uber, Mint, and Apple have all pared down their value-based sales pitch to the very core because they’re clear on what they offer.
You can achieve that same level of clarity and precision by working with DecisionLink. Your company can close more sales, build your audience, and increase revenue with DecisionLink’s end-to-end value management solutions. Start building your audience of lifelong customers today by scheduling your free value assessment.