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There Is No Value In Your Product

February 5, 2015

Value Beholder

Value is not a rational computation of the parts, labor, talent, skill, connections, associations, etc. that go into making a product. It has almost nothing to do with the product itself; and even less to do with the various features you might have incorporated into it.

Value – defined as relative worth, merit, or importance – is an emotional expression of what someone might anticipate getting from the item. Value only comes with some sort of context

Early in my career, I sold screen-printed items; t-shirts, pens, and coffee mugs were among the most commonly ordered items. It should come as no surprise that by themselves; these items had little value. Yet the moment customers saw their own name, company name, or logo on them; they had real value. One customer came back with a t-shirt that was clean, but had plenty of grass stains from a recent company softball game. He paid 10x the price of the shirt to have it custom framed as a MVP award for one of his team members for the extraordinary work she did in the office. That same shirt now had tremendous value.

The golden rule in real estate is ‘Location, location, location.’ Realtors know how much the condition, and appearance of the neighboring properties impacts the value of their listed property. Some sellers will not only landscape their own properties, but will also spiff up others (with permission of course) on the street because they know this small investment can bring them big returns. They are not selling a 3 bedroom dwelling with 2.5 baths and countless other niceties. They are selling the value of the neighborhood.

No matter what product or service you are offering; it is critical to understand that most people don’t want what you are offering. They want what they can do with or gain from what you are offering. Ideas like ease, convenience, safety, trust, flexibility, guaranteed delivery, professional expertise, or the overall experience that comes with purchasing it from you weigh significantly more heavily than the facts and features of your product.

HOW CAN WE BUILD VALUE?
In Steven Covey’s landmark 7 Habits of Highly Successful People; he talks about the importance to “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Here is an ideal opportunity to begin to practice this habit.

  1. Start by shifting your focus away from you/company/product; and towards your customers. How will they use/enjoy your products and services. Help them complete the dream about already possessing whatever it is they are considering.
  2. Ask interesting and dialogue-generating questions prefaced with; ‘In order to best serve your needs; may I ask a few questions to understand your unique circumstances?
    The more specific details you get, the easier it is to make relevant and worthwhile recommendations of products and services you offer.
  3. Build an arsenal of customer success stories and unique ways they have used your products or services.
    Stories should come from both your perspective as well as directly from customers (voice message, recorded video, written, or arranged phone call).You might even categorize them as they fit into the situations listed above.

    Share these stories with new prospects to build engagement and communicate trust.

In doing this; you will not only speed up the buying process, but also be able to do so with higher profit margins.

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