So this is a blog post from a startled person. 🙂 When I work with a client, my intention is to provide support and guidance in three areas – all of which touch each other, which is why our conversations always float among the three areas rather than stay strictly in a single area. These three areas are:
- Personal growth that is required to run your own business (usually illuminated by looking at what you are not doing, or where you feel stuck).
- Marketing strategies for each product or service being offered (for a great primer on ALL the ways to market, go get a copy of Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid if you are a service professional).
- Checking out the business idea – does it have legs?
Imagine my surprise when, this week, I ended up realizing that someone I worked with actually placed 100% value on the RECORDING of our conversation rather than the ideas, tips, and strategies that were shared in the conversation. In other words, this person didn’t perceive value in my expertise or knowledge, the value was in having a recording. When the recording failed, the statement I heard was “the financial investment I made is a write-off.”
This is a GREAT opportunity to remind myself and my readers that while we may THINK we know what our clients perceive as valuable we might, in fact, be wrong. I figure my clients see value in grabbing ideas, encouragement, and energy from me. But in at least this case, I was dead wrong. So today’s questions for you are:
- What do you think your clients hold as the value in their relationship with you?
- How do you test this?
- What can you do to keep yourself from being surprised?
Once you are clear about what you want clients to value, it’s a good idea to look at your marketing materials (website copy, social media, etc.) and be clear in your speech, making sure that you are talking the language of the value you wish to be to people. For instance, I could have served this client better by being clearer that the recording was, in fact, a last-minute and second-level benefit to our working together. In other words, I’m not selling the recording, I’m selling my time and my expertise. It’s my job to be clear about that. And, word to the wise entrepreneur – it’s your job, too!