There is a lot of confusion about what value selling is and how it is different from negotiation. These two constructs are quite often mixed up and interchanged in the design of training programs or in most practitioners’ books. But in reality they are two different things.
Negotiation is a science which has been studied and improved over decades. Wikipedia defines it as follows (2013).
“Negotiation is a dialogue between two or more people or parties, intended to reach an understanding, resolve point of difference, or gain advantage in outcome of dialogue, to produce an agreement upon courses of action, to bargain for individual or collective advantage, to craft outcomes to satisfy various interests of two people/parties involved in negotiation process. Negotiation is a process where each party involved in negotiating tries to gain an advantage for themselves by the end of the process. Negotiation is intended to aim at compromise.”
Value selling is not clearly defined and has yet to be defined formally. Value selling is not value-added selling or negotiation for value. Value selling is less about the outcome and the gain of advantage but more about the types of dialog and conversation that take place in the formal and informal customer interactions. I propose that that value selling is about telling stories of hope, of success and of collaborative growth. Value selling is constant, systematic and conversational. Stories emerge at various points in the organization when customers make contact with the sales force, customer service, technical support, marketing, and top management. These touch points might be formal or informal in nature. Value selling is constant, sustained, aligned and greatly prepared. The process of value selling then support the negotiation for value process. Sell value constantly and then negotiate punctually.
Want to learn more about value-based strategies? Listen to the on-demand version of Dr. Liozu’s webinar, The Fastest Way to Begin Value-based Pricing.
About Dr. Stephan Liozu:
Dr. Stephan Liozu is a Pricing Evangelist and Thought-Leader as well as the Founder of Value Innoruption Advisors. He specializes in the design of innovative and differentiated business strategies for B2B firms, and the implementation of value-based pricing strategies. His acclaimed Customer Value Modeler (CVM®) certification program trains professionals in value modelling best practices.
Stephan is co-author of Innovation in Pricing and A User’s Guide to Value Modeling as well as numerous academic papers. He holds a PhD in Management from The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University where he is an Adjunct Professor and a Visiting Scholar. Stephan sits on the board of Advisors of PPS. Stephan can be reached at email@example.com.