By Monica Paul
Value is that extra thing that your client appreciates so much, it’s when you do that little thing that isn’t in the contract.
“Could you please help me getting some extra issues of the magazine where my interview was published?”
“Yes, of course!” And then you get about ten issues for your client. That is the extra mile called value! It meant just a call for you, but your client won’t forget it.
Giving value makes your business out-stand and be different from your competitors. Giving value has been often misunderstood, specially in marketing and sales. People think that value means adding more product to a package or giving a service at a lower price. These are promotions, which are very different from value.
Value is something that you do to give your client an extra benefit that goes beyond what would be reasonably expected. Value are usually little details that place your business in a position of reliability, trust, and a real business partner of your client. This helps you building strong partnerships and at that point, price becomes secondary in comparison to the trust your clients and prospects have with regard to your products and/or services; and the most important, the value of teaming with you!
For example, mine is a specific case of services, we provide marketing services to companies and we have infinite opportunities to give them value. One of our clients needs a real Spanish/English speaking liaison between the sales areas in Latin America and the corporate marketing area; they don’t have a headcount to hire someone in this region. My company has turned into that liason, I make sure not only that they have every single text in both languages but also that they are perfectly edited. But we go beyond that, it takes no more than five minutes to translate an email and this is highly appreciated by them. This has granted their trust to my business and a long term relationship. Of course, money also comes in the form of bigger purchase orders as the client asks for more services. Isn’t it awesome?
When talking about getting new clients a practical suggestion is to get their attention focusing on how to help them increasing their sales. All businesses want more sales. If the content is a real call to action they will call to get more information. The key is to deliver value first and position yourself in front of the decision makers. Here some tips:
1. Tell your prospects what you’ve done for your clients. — Instead of selling yourself by talking about how many writing programs you’ve completed or how many marketing campaigns you’ve done; show them how you’ve helped other clients to profit, and succeed, and they’ll be interested in every word you say. Smart decision makers recognize value and want to know how you can make a difference in their business.
2. Contribute to print magazines and journals, e-zines, and newsletters —There’s nothing like having your value publicized and available validating your expertise. Writing creates a perceived leadership position, which in turn is at the same time a value positioning statement. Writing also gives you excellent exposure, allowing those who agree with your ideas and philosophy to comment and get in touch with you.
3. Speak in public or on broadcast media — If you can, take advantage of any chance you get to speak in front of an audience, be it in a seminar room, Chamber of Commerce, or via radio, TV, video, or podcast. Here’s the important thing to keep in mind: don’t sell yourself! Rather, pick a topic of interest and deliver good, actionable content to solve a specific problem. Keep it simple, tight and focused. Show your expertise through value.
4. Track your “Calls-2-Action” — This is a very marketing thing, and I strongly suggest you get used to it regardless or your area of expertise. Let your clients know that the results of your campaigns matter to you. Tracking the results of a call-to-action, gives you the chance to get specific one-2-one communication with some clients, so it becomes a chance to give them an extra personalized piece of value! Today’s technology makes it really easy for you to track your call to actions, so… Go for it!
5. Beat the deadline and provide an unexpected “extra” — Delivering your work, results or reports a day or two before they’re due will be highly appreciated by your clients. Doing this will give the managers more time to review the work and make changes if needed without being under the gun. At the end this becomes a benefit for both, your client and yourself; this is exponentially valuable!
6. Follow up — Just because the job is complete, it doesn’t mean that you disappear. You should follow up with your client and inquire how the result turned out to be. With one of my clients, I usually ask the sales guys about the results from the webinars we work out with them, if they get leads to feed their pipeline that they can turn into sales, we did it right and we are on the right track for the following webinars. Asking this question is itself value. It is not that we provide the marketing service, but we make sure sales are getting what they need and having positive results. Sales appreciate this, but this also makes sure there will be further budget for my services.
If I were to give you the secret to establishing value and building relationships, I would say it’s “over-deliver and undersell.” That’s really what it’s all about. Every time you give something extra and unexpected to your clients and prospects; every time you follow up and show interest in helping them achieving their goals you are positioning yourself as THE ONE they can trust, you’re establishing a strong and close relationship and at the same time you’re giving them value. When you get to this point you’ll find yourself getting a steady flow or money, work and referrals that you’d better publish in your website.
Thank you for reading! Until the next time. Good health and happy succeeding!