What Does Value Really Mean?

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Do you ever have that sinking feeling at the very moment you’re about to tell somebody your price, when your conscience jumps in with the ‘can I really charge that’ doubt?

Am I worth that?

Do I really deliver that much value?

I know this is something that happens to a lot of people (I was only having a conversation about it yesterday) and it’s one of the major reasons that a lot of small businesses miss out on sales that should have been a certainty. You see, two things tends to happen when you have these doubts about your own price. You either skirt it completely and just don’t ask for the sale. Or you try and make the sale but your own doubts about price undermine the confidence of your delivery which then undermines the customer’s confidence so that they no longer want to buy your amazing product. And it all just fizzles away.

Doubts about your own price are often caused by not having enough clarity about the benefits that you deliver to your customer and exactly how much that’s worth to them. A lot of people get stuck on how long something takes to deliver: “it’s only going to take me a couple of hours, how can I possibly charge more than XYZ?” But the thing is, you’re not selling your time. Or rather the customer isn’t buying your hours. The customer is buying the end result. The customer’s perception of value is all about THEM, not about YOU!

Andy Bounds explains this brilliantly in The Jelly Effect with his AFTERS acronym. What the customer is buying is the thing that they’re left with AFTER they do business with you. That’s the thing that’s most important to them and it’s the reason they will choose to buy from you if you take the time to really understand that. What YOU provide to the customer is much less important than what the customer sees they’ve RECEIVED.

I’m hoping that makes sense as you read it, but let’s add some more detail to explain it further.

Whenever I work with a client who has doubts or insecurities about their price we work on one specific area, so I thought I’d share that here to help you overcome any nagging price doubts or sales fears of your own.

The answer lies in getting much clearer about the value you deliver.

When I ask people to explain what value they deliver to their customers most give me quite a one-dimensional, surface view of this. I hear things like:

  • they get a block of 3 sessions of 45 minutes
  • they get 5 pages of copy written or a blog a week
  • they get more time with their family because they’re not stuck doing (…) anymore
  • they get their annual accounts and personal tax returns complete to a really high standard

But if I’m a potential customer does any of that get me really excited? Does it connect with me at an emotional level so that I feel really driven to buy from you? Probably not if we’re being honest. It’s understanding the emotional drivers for customers that will make it so much easier to help them to buy from us. And the great news is that, although it takes a bit of time and a bit of banging your head against a brick wall for a couple of hours, once you’ve done this exercise your confidence in your price, your value and your explanation of exactly why a customer ought to buy from you will be so much higher.

The best way to dig into this whole question about the value you deliver is to brainstorm. Get somebody else involved so that they can help you explore your answers and look more deeply at things. I’d recommend spending at least an hour on this, ideally a couple if you can. Ask the other person to challenge you and to keep pushing you to get further and further inside the mind of your customer until you both feel that there’s a real clarity to your answer that would resonate right at the heart of your customer.

As an example here’s how you might brainstorm the first service I’ve listed above. This is a little vague without a specific customer to think about but hopefully there’s enough here to give you some ideas about how you would go about this for yourself. So … the customer is buying 3 sessions of 45 minutes. You might ask questions like:

  • What kind of things will be covered in the sessions?
  • How will the customer benefit from the session?
  • What results will they see or feel?
  • What will be different to them after the sessions?
  • Why do you think that’s important to them?
  • Which of that will be of the most value to them?
  • Why?
  • How much value?
  • If the result is X,Y or Z what’s the financial value to them of that? Or the emotional value?
  • Can you quantify that in some way?
  • What have previous customers said about how much that would be worth to them?
  • Why did they value it at that?
  • Why should they buy from you and not somebody else?

You’ll notice that ‘why’ is a really important part of this process because it’s the best question to help you dig deeper into your answers. Just channel your inner 6 year old and you can’t go wrong!

So with all of that in mind, do you think you’re clear enough about your own value delivered? Or do you need to spend a couple of hours brainstorming it? I can promise you that the confidence and clarity you’ll gain from this exercise is well worth it. The answers you reach won’t just help your confidence in quoting your price and asking a customer to buy from you; it’ll also give you a fantastic, succinct explanation of how you help your customers that could improve your website content, your flyers, your social media posts and your networking pitch. Isn’t that amazing value?

I’d love to hear about any other ways that have helped you define your value or great questions you think could help others so please feel free to add a comment below and share the ideas.

 

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