Monday, 28 December 2015 15:22

How to Build the Perceived Value of Your Business

Like all other businesses in the B2B arena, we know our customers have the choice to buy hardwood lumber from more than one supplier. The purchasing decision often comes down to the perception of value they will receive.

Customers are drawn to businesses that promise (and deliver) quality products and service, but what other factors generate perceived value? Here are a few key points we believe build perceived value and could pave the way for additional growth in the New Year:

Focus on outcomes, rather than product features.

By now, we’re all aware of the importance of stressing benefits over features in our marketing and customer outreach efforts. You can boast about the most dazzling product features in the industry, but unless customers have a sense of how they’ll benefit from these features, your hard work will go unnoticed.

Hardwood-lumber-perceived-customer-valueTake this a step further: When communicating with your target audience, emphasize the outcomes they can expect as a result of purchasing your products. In this respect, B2B customers aren’t any different from their B2C counterparts. Their potential interest is almost entirely derived from the perception that buying your products will result in (a) greater efficiency; (b) future sales; and/or (c) the enhanced value of their products to customers.

Recognize the emotional element

Generally speaking, B2B customers are more analytical and methodical in their purchasing decisions than “ordinary” B2C customers. Nonetheless, there are emotional factors involved in building the perceived value of your business.

“Risk aversion, respect and patriotism are all emotions weighing heavily on buyers in many markets,” notes Matthew Harrison at B2B International, “and reflect an emotional need for assurance that the seller shares similar values and that the buyer is making the right decision.”

Your challenge is to tailor communications that respond to customers’ emotions and provide the reassurance they seek—both for today and into the future. As Harrison notes, “The choices available to B2B customers are increasing, economic cycles are shortening and job markets are becoming less secure.”

Think about ways to alleviate these concerns among your target audience.

Promote your expertise

Sharing your industry expertise with customers is another proven method of building a perception of value. As I’ve written previously, by educating your customers on the best use of your product, as well as on emerging trends and best practices in your industry, their view of your value will rise: “Creating and distributing value-added content shows your commitment to helping customers improve their business—a resource they might not easily find elsewhere.”

Share testimonials from loyal customers

There’s nothing to lose and plenty to gain by requesting and sharing enthusiastic testimonials from loyal customers. Place these on your website and in your marketing materials to help solidify the idea of value in prospective customers’ minds.

Customers everywhere expect quality in the products they buy. The choice to purchase those products from you depends on the perception of value associated with your business.

“Perceived value” grows out of your customers’ evaluations of the benefits they receive from your offering balanced against its overall costs (compared to your competitors). In the hardwood lumber industry, the value we provide to our customers often surfaces in the quality of our interactions, in our consistently on-time delivery of products, and in the new and creative ways we help their own businesses succeed. We welcome the chance to demonstrate our value to you. Contact us today to learn more about the value we can bring to your business.

Tony Cimorelli
Baillie Lumber Co.
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