Monday, August 2, 2010

Ever Our Goal: More Value For Cost; More Value For Less Cost

Since I first heard the phrase of the value exceeding the cost is when a sale is made, I have always had this scale in my mind. I am always cognizant of providing maximum value for the investment by our client or customer and I've felt that way in every endeavor I've done for my entire life. Zig Ziglar was famous for saying that "you will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want," and that has been stored in my brain since I first heard it in the early 1970s. I believe it is a guiding thought and it has served me well throughout my business career.

Especially now, in my own business, I am always asking myself and my partners, how can we provide even more value? It is interesting that in the last 6 months, we have lowered our prices and increased our services sixfold. I didn't even know that was possible, but we did it--and you know what?--business is up dramatically. The value of service that we provide our clients with our new Trend Setter Package is so much more than the client cost that the bargain is incredible. Isn't that the way it should be?

Here's a good question to ask yourself and your team in your business: what value are we giving our clients and customers for the money they pay? How can we give even more value? How can we give more value AND reduce prices? How can we demonstrate the value we know we provide, so our clients and customers are fully aware of the benefits they receive?

When I was selling truck bodies I provided extra value in a number of ways. It was far more than the product or the normal service of taking the order, paying attention to production and following through with the customer. I gave them extra value by helping them grow, from the experience that I had in that field doing what they are doing. I gave them so many ideas that helped make them a lot of money over the years and they in turn gave me business for the company I worked for. It didn't matter that I got paid for any of the extra work (and indeed it was a great deal of work in some cases) because I was just loving my customers and doing what I could to help them if I could. If they sold more, I may get more business for sure, but it was always more than that--it was a gift. Think of it as a thank you gift.

We now do much of that same thing in our website and Internet marketing business, Upward Trend. We don't look at how much money one client pays over an other, but to the service we provide once we have agreed to have them as a customer. Once they're in, we go to work. Even the lowest paying clients get so much more than full value and we are constantly looking how we can even expand that.

I remember when I was in the car business during my early twenties. I will never forget being out in the service drive listening to the service manager talking to a customer, saying, "what do you expect, you only bought a Vega!" The Chevy Vega was the lowest priced new car we sold at that time. How sad to treat a customer that way. I was at that dealership for 7 years and we had 9 service managers! Whew. That's a record, I'm sure.

We owe it to our clients and customers--and to ourselves--to provide much more value than just selling a product and walking away. I don't care how good that product is. The customer deserves better.

Keep asking how you can provide more value for the same or less money. You will find that with this attitude being fully functional, you will have plenty of business regardless of the economic conditions. People will always pay less money for more value, won't they? The more you think about that, you may find that you can actually do it. I know we did.

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