WARNING: What YOU Value is NOT Necessarily the Same Thing Your CUSTOMER Values

Value Price Scale ConceptI talk and teach a lot about “value”.

“Creating Massive Value” is even the core topic of the current book I’m writing.

And there is a very good reason I place such a strong focus and emphasis on creating and delivering value.

Because, at the end of the day… “Money”, is simply a measure of exchanged VALUE.

So, the more value you create and the more people you deliver that value to, the more MONEY you make as a natural consequence.

However, one common mistake I see “value creators” make is ASSUMING that what they place value on, is the same thing that their clients or customers place value on.

Often, this is the farthest thing from reality.

For example, a professional fitness trainer teaching a new exercise program, may personally “value” the deep burn she gets in her muscles as a result of the workout.

She values this burn and pain in her muscles, because after years and years of intense physical training, she has have come to associate that pain with the positive results she sees in her physique.

However, if her target client is a middle-aged, overweight man who has not done a single push-up since high school gym class, leading with the “no pain, no gain” message is going to result in low sales.

That customer values ease and comfort. Unlike the fitness trainer, he does not associate pain with growth. He associates pain with… Well… PAIN!

Physical exertion, pain and discomfort is something he tries to avoid at all costs! (That’s probably why he is overweight!)

So while the professional fitness trainer places high-value on an intense, exhausting workout that “torches” every muscle in her body… Her potential client values a workout that is easy, comfortable and allows him to go at his own pace.

Sometimes, this concept is particularly hard for entrepreneurs to accept.

As entrepreneurs, most of us are hardwired for personal growth and learning. We are curious, we don’t mind taking smart risks, we understand that all real growth happens OUTSIDE of our comfort zone.

And we often get caught in the trap of thinking that most of the people we are selling to are motivated by, and value the same things we do.

However, unfortunately “most people” are NOT growth oriented. Most people do not value learning and achievement to the same level we do.

  • They would rather watch television, than read a book.
  • They would rather go to a football game or concert, than attend a seminar or workshop.
  • They value the “security and stability” of a paycheck over the excitement, achievement and potential prosperity of building a business.

Even though the wise man once said, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Guess what? At the end of the day, all most folks want is the dang fish!

Most people do not want to LEARN how to solve their problem or achieve a result… They simply want the problem SOLVED for them. They just place VALUE on the end result.

So while as entrepreneurs we may place tremendous value on the PROCESS used to create the result. And we might value learning both HOW and WHY the process works in achieving the result… In most cases, our customers and clients could care less about learning the how and why.

As a result, if we try to sell them based on the features and benefits that WE value in our product or service, it is going to turn them off and we will lose the sale.

In order to best serve our clients and customers we need to first figure out what THEY value most about our products and services. And then we must do everything in our power to tailor our offerings to deliver maximum value based on the result our clients actually want. (Not simply based on our assumptions, or what we would want ourselves.)

So how do you figure out what your target customers ACTUALLY value?

Simple… You ASK them!

Yes… Yes… I know you’ve heard it before.

You know all about the importance of “surveying your market” and building a target customer avatar.

And surveys are great… Customer avatars are valuable…

However, let me ask you this: How long has it been since YOU spoke to an actual prospect or customer on the phone when you were not trying to “sell” them something?

How long has it been since you simply spent 10-20 minuets interviewing someone in your target market, asking them about what THEY value in a product or service like yours? What is most important to them when thinking about buying what you sell? What their biggest frustrations, fears, hopes and dreams are related to your area of expertise?

If it has been longer than 30 days since you’ve last been on the phone, asking a current or potential customer these questions, then it has been too long!

As a business owner, there is no more valuable use of your time than regularly getting on the phone with those in your target market.

These calls, when done properly, will give you more insights in 20 minutes into what your market wants to buy and how they want you to sell it to them, than you could get in 20 months of product development and testing.

When you make a commitment to spending time every month conducting these interview calls, you’ll never again be at a loss for new product or service ideas or marketing “hot buttons” for ad copy.

And best of all… The ideas you get will not be based on any kind of “guess work” on your part, they will all be based on what your market has already raised their hand and told you they want to buy!

(I can almost guarantee you that your competition is NOT doing this!)

So if you want to grow your business rapidly and make the maximum amount of money possible, then you need to figure out how to deliver the maximum amount of VALUE to those you serve.

There is no better or faster way to do that, than by getting on the phone (or Skype) and ASKING them what THEY value most.

I can guarantee you, when done properly and consistently, these calls will absolutely transform your business!

Now GO GET ON THE PHONE!

Eric

P.S. – Because I never teach something I don’t actually DO in my own businesses and companies, I’d love to spend 10-20 minutes on the phone with YOU!

So if you are a full-time entrepreneur or business owner, I’ve blocked out 5-6 spots over the next couple weeks to “practice what I preach”, and do some interview calls.

These are NOT disguised sales pitches…  I just want to ask you a few questions about your business, who you serve, what your goals and dreams are, what your biggest problems or frustrations are, etc.

Actually… If you are thinking about doing your own interview calls, this will be a valuable experience for you because you get to hear exactly how I conduct these calls and what kind of questions I ask!

Also, as my way of saying THANKS for helping me gain a deeper understanding of the wants and needs of those I serve, at the end of the call I’ll give you some time to ask me a question or two about your business! (I typically charge $2,500 per hour for phone consultations…)

Now I do have a few criteria for those I get on the phone with, and there are several industries/markets where I refuse to work with people.

So if you want to apply for a spot, and see if you qualify, all you need to do is fill out the form on this page:

http://ericgraham.org/interview

You don’t have to fill out all of the questions if you don’t want or are not comfortable, but because I only have a handful of spots blocked out to do these calls, the more complete your answers, the greater the chance I’ll pick you for a call.

And even though this is the page/form I usually use for my more formal “Strategy Sessions” with prospective clients, where if there is a mutual fit, I actually DO make them an offer to work with me… Like I said, on this short interview call, nothing is “for sale”, you can’t buy anything from me on this call even if you want to!

http://ericgraham.org/interview

Eric Graham (6 Posts)

As an in-demand professional speaker and the founder and CEO of multiple highly successful online and offline companies Eric Graham helps entrepreneurs, authors, speakers and coaches maximize their incomes and magnify their impact on the world. On this blog he shares valuable, actionable and insightful content (articles, videos, tips, opinions, ideas and news) that you can immediately put to use in your business and your life. Follow Eric on Twitter!


Comments

  1. Thanks for the reminder. I know this. I teach this. I make the mistake of thinking I know better than a customer about what he wants almost every day.

    I have been using the “just bring me the dang fish” story for years. Today, I read your telling and remembered how I often get a glazed look telling this. I think people get that we mean “just bring the dang fish” is what you’d hear at a fish restaurant, where the customer if more than happy to pay his bill and doesn’t want to be reminded that “giving” the fish there is not “give a man a fish” as in the original parable.

    At the risk of over-explaining my over-explaining… I see a tendency in us to view “give a fish” the same as “giving someone what they ordered. The difference is that the customer PAYS FOR THE FISH. The beggar begs for it.

    I have spent a lot of time telling the beggar this, trying to pull him through the learning process to fish and be rich enough to sell the fist. Time not wasted from an altruistic, help your fellow man view. Today, I’m remember that the rich guy is also my fellow man. It’s okay to help him exchange his pile of money for a tasty meal.

Speak Your Mind

*