In any business, online or off, there is an exchange of value that takes place whenever we do a deal or execute a transaction.
That exchange may be monetary or it might be quid pro quo, but the result is the same – you offer a product or service and in return, you receive something commensurate to the customer’s perceived valuation of your offering, and therein lies the difference between success and failure. Did you get it?
With any product or service, there is a ‘cost’ value and a ‘perceived’ value. The important point is that whatever the customer’s perception of value is, that is their reality.
When I was growing up, I remember my dad using an expression that perfectly summed up the issue with this value / price disparity.
Oscar Wilde via Dad
Whenever we bought anything new, there would always be someone who would somewhat spoil the moment and ask ‘oh yeah and how much was that?’
I’m not sure if it’s a fundamentally British thing, but personally, I find it a bit indelicate discussing money anyway (we’ll leave that for another day), however when I bought a sportscar some years ago and was faced with the ‘and how much was that?’ query, I’d often frustrate my inquisitor and reply, ‘well, can you really put a price on happiness?’. Flippancy aside, however, there was also a lot of truth in this response, because we never really pay for something based on the basic cost of its nuts and bolts, we pay for the results it gives us or how that purchase makes us feel – whether that be empowered, protected, reassured or so on.
Once you have a great value product or service, the second biggest mistake then is not to communicate that value to the marketplace.
By not communicating the value through the use of effective and compelling marketing, you’ll be aware that what you have is valuable, but your prospects and customers won’t know, understand or interpret the value that you’re offering them.
The point is this:
Money will only come to you once you create value – not just in the creation of your offering – but also in the creation of compelling communications.
In short, and I must thank Joe Polish for this distilled wisdom, there are three things you need in order to sell something…
1. You need a product or service that delivers everything you say it will. Crappy products and services do not a happy long-term relationship make.
Ask yourself, how can I re-engineer my product or service so that it OVER delivers on what I promise? This is the best way to create return customers.
2. You need a marketing message that really communicates the value of your offering but more importantly the results it can produce for your customer. Remember ‘Features tell, benefits sell’.
The best marketing message is one that enters the conversation already happening in the mind of your ideal customer. Understanding your prospect’s motivations is the first step towards creating a message that will motivate them to want to buy your products and services.
3. The third and final thing you need is a means of delivering your message. Think of all the different ways this can be achieved, for example, Social media, postcards, blogging, pay-per-click, email… get creative and spread the word.
Grab a sheet of paper and think about the methods of communication that could most effectively reach your ideal customer. The more methods you can use to reach your prospects and customers, the better.
Also, remember that you can use these exact same systems to deliver more value – and get more sales – from EXISTING customers. Don’t restrict a marketing method to new customers only. They can, and should, be used to deliver more value to your current clients as well.
If you spend enough time focusing not just on delivering great products and services, but also communicating the value of those products or services, and getting them in the hands of other people… then a certain momentum will kick in where people will start referring and telling other people about you.
The money will come once you create the value.
And the more value you create in the world, the greater the potential rewards.
I’d love to hear what you are doing, right now, to become a value creator.
Leave a comment below and let’s connect.