I met with a new client yesterday to discuss how I could help his Company to communicate their value and increase their market share. One of the first things he said to me was “we are great at what we do, but we’re just not getting this across”.
He’s not Robinson Crusoe there is he! It’s such a common problem, which I’m sure you can relate to. If not now, at some point in your past… And if it is in your past CONGRATULATIONS for working through it!
So what is ‘It’? …‘It’ is a lack of belief in your own value. A lack of belief that what you do truly does make a difference. And therefore an inability to communicate what you got to give. We know what we know, so we therefore don’t have the contrast of not knowing it. However take your skill/talent/service and replace it with something that you don’t know how to do. It could be anything from carpentry to holistic healing.
Objective Value Visualisation
Let’s imagine we are surgeons performing open-heart surgery…. You have someone’s life in your hands, a pumping vital organ in front of you with veins and arteries everywhere. Where do you cut? What do you need to monitor? What contingencies do you have in place? What planning have you made for unforeseen variables? The human body is complex and life tenuous. Just imagine the knowledge, skill and confidence it takes to be a surgeon. How does that make you feel? Daunted most likely! It’s outside the realm of imagining for most of us. But for a surgeon it’s all part of the job. And that same surgeon probably lives in awe of their Accountant, Massage Therapist or Mechanic.
Now for another outer body experience… Imagine you are someone other than yourself who doesn’t have the same skills as you. Imagine you (as this other person) are contemplating your skill… Look at what you do objectively, without the “you know what you know” blasé. It’s different now isn’t it. Think about all the little things you do that contribute to you providing the service you do. The knowledge, experience, training, education, creativity and intrinsic ability that all go into the mix to create your value.
Get really clear on something. If you’re doing what you’re doing with passion and purpose, there’s no one else who can do what you do, and a myriad of people who need what you have. In my last blog I talked about “giving what you got to give” from your heart.
So back now to my title… adding value rather vs selling.
My client told me he clammed up on calls with prospective clients whenever he perceived the conversation had become a ‘sale’. If he was just talking about what he did, answering questions or explaining, he could “talk until the cows come home”.
A sale, literally is an exchange of energy. Money is energy. So you are saying that in exchange for money you are going to provide energy in return in whatever shape your skill takes. Your client needs your ‘energy’ in order to achieve their goals and in return they have money ‘energy’ from other exchanges in order to make this happen.
Remember in my client’s case he already said that they were great at what they did. He was sure that he could add value to clients who required his service, however still clammed up when it came to “selling”. AKA asking for money in exchange for goods or services.
But let me ask you something. What do you think about getting something for free? Is it ever really free? Or if it is do you place a great perceived value on it? For me, it’s ‘no’. There’s always a suspicion behind ‘free’ that it’s a trap… or crap!!
My Yoga teacher is an amazing Hungarian Yogi who has dedicated himself to the Yogic spiritual path for many years. He is a sublime teacher full of knowledge and spirit. I of course pay to attend his classes and always walk out feeling fantastic and very happy to have exchanged my money for his teaching. There is a path in yoga called ‘Karma Yoga’ which is the Yoga of selfless service. You give your service in exchange for the greater good. And so, on this path he gave his time and teachings in a yoga class for free once a week. It was exactly the same as a class he charged for, which was always full. And what do you think happened with his free class? Surely there must have been people lining the street right? Wrong. Only one person ever came to that class.
Why is that? Perception. We want perceived value, and our medium is money.
So ask for the money, communicate rather than sell how you can add value, what you will be giving, solving, providing, creating in exchange for money.
It’s all about the Universal Law of cause and effect, giving and receiving. Eventually balance always prevails. Think about this on a micro level. Osmosis for example. Water will seek to balance itself out against the odds… Against gravity even.
And so the greater the service you are providing, the greater the amount of energy exchange that will be required. And this ‘greater’ comes from your passion, commitment and self-value. Over on the client side of the equation, the greater the service, the more value is added to them.
So, given that my client knew he offered a great service but couldn’t communicate it, want to know how he currently gets most of his business? Repeat business and word of mouth referrals. He does a great job and retains clients but struggles with communicating his value to new prospects. What a road block.
Fortunately he’s seen the lack of sustainability in this long term and taken the leap to get out of his own way and find solutions to the blocks in his business that are stopping the ‘energy’ flowing as well as it could…
Communicating value wipes out the need for selling
There are some of us who are natural born sales people. We have the inherent ability to ‘sell’ and it can be devoid of heart and commitment. However it’s not sustainable. You may make a sale but if what you’re providing isn’t coming from your core, your client retention and referrals will be low and you will expend vast amounts of energy on continually driving new business rather than riding the wave of momentum that comes from heart-based business.
There are also many of us who are not natural born sales people. For whom “selling” makes us squirm. The good news is if you know you’re great at what you do and you do it with passion, you have the capacity to add value to those who require your skill. No “selling” required. Just communication.
I urge you to get clear on what it is you do, why you do it, how you do it and communicate this to your clients. Remember that you’re not selling, you’re adding value. And for true value to be present there must be an exchange of energy. So ask for the money! And feel good about it because you’ve got something that’s going to make a positive difference to the lives of your clients.
If you would like some assistance putting your value into words please get in contact with me. Also go grab my free guide to writing winning words that helps you to get clear on what you do and what makes you unique.
LEONIE ORTON is a business writer and marketer.
She extracts your thoughts, gives them structure
and then converts them into words that do their
job pretty darn well. Find out more about her here.
Connect with her on Facebook & Twitter.