What does it mean to create value?
If you build a website and it costs you $35.00 an hour to do it in labor, and you spend 20 hours on it, have you just created $700 of value for your client?
Even if the website dramatically increases easy decision making and clarity for their customers is that enough to create value that your client can easily recognize in your proposal? How will you demonstrate it?
Writing a proposal that says it will does not make it so. Remember your user is seeking help from a professional because this is not their area of strength. They require your help to help them understand how it will.
And the first place they will check out, and look for someone else to solve their problem, is if what you are proposing is not within the budget they had in mind, AND for that money can not deliver the functionality they expect for the price. It’s your job to help them understand why it cannot and what they can do as an interim step to solve it. It’s your job to help them functionally see and understand why spending $3500 instead of $1000 is going to produce a significant benefit to them.
Actually, by doing this, you are now starting to create value. You are helping your client understand what they can really get for their money and the best way to tackle their problem because you are spending the time in detail to help them see it first hand and not just telling them to accept that your product or service will be awesome for them, because you say so.
Certainly your confidence is necessary, but your client wants you to help them solve their problem. If that means giving them 1/2 your solution and 1/2 someone else’s because it will, that’s what you need to do.
While the benefits and features you have created may seem like the best to you, if you cannot transfer your understanding of their usefulness to your user you have not created value. Regardless of if you talk to you user face to face to sell, or sell or through your super widget app, you have to find a way to take them through a guided (to the point-brief) tour of their pain points and helping them assess how you can help them solve them.
Even if you make the best product in the world, if users don’t connect to it because your marketing does not help them to self identify with it, your product will fall flat.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. If you don’t have a compelling story to help them want to care about buying their services or products from you, a story you tell in bits and pieces along the way to your user, not just in your marketing- even the most compelling products- will fall flat in the marketplace. Just look at Apple and Dell and its pretty clear that consistent and deeply embedded story telling through out the user experience sells a whole lot more product.
So clearly, creating value is complicated. It’s complicated because it is about your users experience, not yours. In today’s market, you need to be able to customize. You need to be able to bundle services into yours if it is what it takes to get yours sold.
So what exactly does your user care about? What functionality? What support services? What level of design? Does any one really care about expensive packaging? Or do they want to authentically connect with the product and service from where they are at to move forward?
So if your clients need education to make the buying decision, then you have to give it to them for free or roll it into the price.
And if your clients need visuals to help them make the decision, then you need to provide it those that do.
And if your client needs a bare bones price with minimal functionality and you like to build rolls royces, its up to you if you want the client but skip trying to convince them that a rolls is in their future- cause its not and you will do nothing to build loyalty.
Clients are all different. They may need 50-100% of what you provide. They may need 25% outside of your box too. It’s your job is to figure out how to be flexible enough without being confusing, and equally be clear enough and straight forward enough in your approach to lead them easily in the direction they want to go WITH you. This is how value is creating by meeting the client where they are at. Not where you want them to be because it is obvious to you what they need to do. Trust me this is hard to do. I advise sme’s all the time, and occasionally I do lose my cool because it is so obvious to me what they need to do. As frustrating as this may sound, its the only way your value will ever be deliver. On their terms, not yours. And so, either they will bend towards you and listen and work with you, or they won’t. It’s only when they are willing to that you will begin to truly create the value they want and need.
Your job is to help your user understand the process you will take them through to help them transform their situation into the results they are looking for. To do this you have to be able to pick up subtle ques about what they value:
Is it price? Do they have a specific value in mind they are willing to spend?
Don’t be afraid to ask your customer how much they want to spend. The sooner you understand their thinking about the value they will receive for their money the easier it will be for you figure out their objections to spending more as well as help them see the limitations they will face for the money they will spend. Your job is to find a solution that will cross off the majority of their objections OR give them a pathway overtime to achieve them with additional expenditures. Customers like to feel informed and know why spending more will help them or how spending the amount they have can stretch to fit the majority of their concerns if they can accept adjustments to certain aspects of the delivery.
It could be they need to sacrifice on how long the product will work for them or last. This could mean replacing it sooner.
It could mean they have to sacrifice on the support service they will receive and you may need to help them figure out how to overcome them with other providers or services too to sell your own.
It could mean they have to be a part of the process and do more of the work to get a price they can afford.
Helping users understand what they have to give to get (and pay too) is a crucial part of the buying process. Product and services are not sold in mass without the consumers engagement with the provider or creator. That’s in the end what users want. They want to feel connected to the brand that is helping solve their problem. They want to feel you specifically addressed all their concerns and that by doing so you are trusted to solve their problem. They want to feel that the value you provided for doing so was more valuable then the money they paid you.
So what are you doing to establish this kind of connection to your end user?
And if you sell your products or services through someone else, your values and beliefs have to be your resellers too. Brands are built based on value alignment to the user first. Then product fit. Not the other way around.
To your highest purpose and best self friends. And to creating the value you want your users to have and they deserve.
To learn more about me go to LisaCanning.com, Lisa’s Clarinet Shop, Royal Musical Instruments or iaeou.me
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