The Value of Giving Value

value in dictionary with pink highighter

Do you consistently provide value in everything you do?

When you give information – a free eBook or trial consultation for instance – are you giving it 100%? Or do you give less because you’re giving it away for free?

Do you aim to be of service and be helpful, even when you might not get anything in return?

Providing value builds trust. It moves your relationships forward through the sales funnel. It means people will share what you have shared, and will refer others to you.

Sometimes it works invisibly, unconsciously. That doesn’t mean it has no effect, it just means we can’t always see it or measure it.

There is a lot of value in providing value and being of service. No matter what industry your business is in.

So what happens when someone provides something that is valueless? When your clients have a bad customer experience with you, or someone who represents you in your company?

 

True story: this one’s personal.

By now, you know that I am a strong advocate of ongoing professional development. I’m currently taking an online course, and thoroughly enjoying the valuable, action-oriented program.  In a recent email, there was an invitation to fill in a questionnaire (8 questions that required well-thought-out answers) for a chance to win one of 10 free personal coaching calls. The ‘breakthrough session‘ promised to “create a clear plan that describes the steps you need to take your business to the next level…and identify the one simple step you can take immediately to get into action.”

AWESOME! Sounds pretty useful right?

Even more awesome? My answers made the grade, and I won a coaching session.

Of course, I did realize that free means  that someone will try and sell me something at the end – I’m in the marketing business myself, so I understand how it works. I could even guess what the offer would be – an invitation to join the advanced coaching program.

No problem. The course I was currently taking was packed with great information, and I was positive the call would provide value too. I was excited, and looking forward to the Skype call.

The call started casually, then moved into questions about my business, my ideal client, my past clients, my sales process. 40 minutes in, and the challenges I’d spent time detailing in my questionnaire had not been addressed. I’d brought up my specific challenge twice, yet the question was never really answered – there was definitely no action plan and no single step I could take or tip on how to overcome my challenge.

Eventually we came to the “sales pitch” part. Where they ask specific questions that overcome objections and lead me to (hopefully) decide for myself that yes, I need to invest in your program. 10 minutes of various thought-provoking questions. Suggestions on how the program could help me. How they could make it affordable. 30 seconds of silence (what I call the car salesman game).

{sigh.} I thought I don’t need to stay on this call. So I (politely, but assertively) ended it.

 

What’s the moral of the story?

Providing a lousy customer experience is bad for business. Period.

In the end, they got no sale, and I got no information of value. (Sorry folks, but the invitation to take your program does NOT count as “one simple step to improve my business”. Don’t kid yourself. It’s a sales pitch plain and simple. Call a spade a spade.)

I was so disappointed. In fact, I was more than disappointed. I was angry at having being deceived, and felt disrespected.

image source: freedigitalphotos.net - angry frowning blonde woman on cell phoneDo you know what angry, frustrated people do? They tell their friends.

The problem is, not only did I NOT buy the product, they had turned a happy customer into someone who is now telling everyone else about my bad experience. And if that’s how they train their people to close a sale, well that’s not a course I want to invest in.

And that’s not good for their business.

 

How could that story have ended differently?

The coach could have addressed my challenges and easily given me a few tips on how to move forward in my goals. He could have tied in my challenge to a “for instance, if you take this course, you will learn X,Y,Z, and be able to more easily address challenges like this in the future.”  He could have suggested writing down some of the positive qualities we discussed as a way to be inspired and motivated by using my own words.

He could have said a dozen things that would have made me find value in the call, not just a sales pitch. But he didn’t.

He didn’t even redeem himself in the follow up email. Lost opportunity.

I realized something else. I didn’t get what I wanted, or expected, from the call. I needed to find some value in the negative experience I had had.


Here’s what I learned:

  • Being misled feels crummy.
  • Feeling like I’m being sold to makes me dig in my heels. It puts my back up, and I stop engaging in the conversation – I’m just looking for a way to escape. It’s yucky.
  • I don’t want my clients or prospective clients to feel yucky about me. {Luckily, they don’t. Quite the opposite.}
  • I’m intuitive. I already knew that – it’s a big part of how I do business, decide who I reach out to and connect with. But it’s nice to have it confirmed.
  • It’s important to create clear marketing messages that aren’t misleading. It helps to manage expectations and sets the tone of future interactions.
  • I have no doubt that giving away some brilliant insights is GOOD for client attraction and conversion. I know, it seems counterintuitive. But in my own experience, I have shortlisted business coaches when I left the free consultation feeling motivated and energized to take action. I am more likely to buy from them because they treated me with respect. I never leave feeling “hah, I just got free stuff, sucker”.
  • I found some of my own answers by analyzing that Skype call and thinking about how I would have done it differently.
  • I know how I will NOT conduct my business.

 photo of woman in yellow with hair flying and quote Sometimes we find the answers within ourselves

Are you providing value every time? Not just sometimes. Every time. Keep in mind that you are ALWAYS representing “brand you”.
Wouldn’t you rather make someone feel inspired, motivated and ready to take action?
Besides, what goes around, comes around.

 

 

What We Do

Bright Spark Media is located in Kelowna, BC. We help small businesses, entrepreneurs and service professionals in the Okanagan Valley and globally online. We offer social media training, customized social media set up, social media strategy and business coaching sessions, as well as commercial or event photography services and web design...everything to help you create an irresistible online presence!

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Kelowna, BC, Canada
Phone: +1 250.575.5964
Email: BrightSparkSocialMedia@gmail.com