Do you ever ask yourself what’s your value?

I gave a presentation last week about Personal Branding. Many of you were there. It turned out to be a great morning. Lots of learning, good discussion and good networking and for those of you who missed it, I’m hoping to repeat it.

One of the things I mentioned in my talk was the importance of providing value to our customers. I’d been thinking about the idea of value for a while. Lots of people come to me…and to my clients…interested in the services we provide.  But when they hear the price, they are no longer interested.  I realized that many of us describe the services we provide but not the value of doing business with us.  If you provide real value then whatever price you charge for your product or service becomes less important.  Most potential clients will go with the company that provides greater value, despite a higher cost, as long as that value is important to them.

Some marketing guru once said “Sell the sizzle and not the steak.”  That is true.  But in this economy, even the sizzle won’t sell your product unless the sizzle points out the value.   The value is the benefit your product provides.  It might be a material benefit, such as save more money or make more money. The value might be less concrete, like work more efficiently or get the support you need.   Or it might even be emotional, like feel more glamorous or feel less stressed.

Then there is the added value of doing business with you.  This is especially important if you are selling a product or service in a highly competitive market.  In that case, it is you who is providing the added value above what the product or service can deliver.  The value might be as simple as the fact that doing business with you is more fun than your competition, or you’re more honest or you care more.

The thing to remember is that what you offer is only of value if your customers want it. Moreover, what you might think your customers find of value is not necessarily what is valuable to them.  While you might think you provide fast service, your clients might think it’s the ease of ordering, or that your company is reliable that is important.

You might want to think about how you, personally add value above and beyond what your competitors are doing.  Think about the best client relationships you have and try to figure out why they work so well: what client needs do you and your product or service solve.

One of the easiest ways of finding out what value you provide is to ask your satisfied customers.  Talk to them directly.  Find out why they like using you. What they got out of the relationship. What they think your value is and what makes you better than competition.  What you find out might surprise you.

And start telling that surprising thing…the value that you add….to prospective customers.  Go for it!

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