Real value is the actual return that the service delivers, whereas perceived value is the return that buyers think the service will deliver. Sometimes real and perceived values are linear and correlated, but understanding the difference between the two can unlock previously untapped influence over buyers.
For instance, in my last startup (ProfessionalChats), we provided an online chat service to niche market companies. In essence, we provided a way for prospects to interact with the company to lower the sales friction and convert a higher percentage of website visitors into leads. This was the real value. Website + Online Chat = More Leads.
However, when we spoke to buyers, sometimes they were more interested in the ancillary benefits created by having a virtual online chat service. For instance, some buyers found more perceived value in the support that we could deliver to reduce their stress on the weekends and evenings. Although we did create some real value with our customer support, the perception from some buyers was that support was the primary value of our chat service.
Because customer support was the reason that they reached out to us, we framed the sale around the benefit of reduced stress on the weekends and evenings instead of trying to change their minds.
UNDERSTANDING REAL VS. PERCEIVE VALUE WHEN MARKETING AND SELLING DRIVES HIGHER CONVERSIONS.