3 Ways I Figured Out How to Give More Value to My Customers
Value is the name of the game in business. The more value you give, the more people will want to buy from you, and buy again and again.
But how exactly do you create value? This question stumped me time and again in my personal coaching business.
I knew I had value to give, but I could never quite figure out how to demonstrate that or communicate it.
Eventually I realized three key insights about value. These got me some traction and solid growth.
I went from stagnation to massive growth in a matter of months, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars in sales.
1. Give Them More Stuff
Simple but extremely important.
Oftentimes we want to specialize in just one skill or narrow service. Partly because we know we are very good at that one thing, but partly because we are afraid we might be unqualified to offer more.
I thought I could build a successful business by just increasing my total “billable hours.”
But I eventually learned no matter how many hours I am working, if my work is unproductive or low-value, it will never get me where I want to be. It will always be a minor gig that allows me to survive, rather than a strong source of growing income and wealth.
I realized I had to pack my work with lots of new features.
Instead of just simple personal coaching sessions, I would hire assistants to help the client practice conversation skills. I would bring in outside experts on fashion and style, or career and job search, if that was what the client needed at the time.
I would throw in phone calls and email coaching. I would provide them with a journal system so they could track their own progress and I could analyze their progress from week to week, and reveal patterns and trends.
In short, I gave them more features, more learning tools, and a more robust overall experience.
This made my programs much more valuable than before. And they were also way more interesting and helpful than what other companies were offering (and clients told me as much).
2. Give Them Something No One Else is Providing
This can be in the form of the classic “better mousetrap” where you just do what someone else is doing, but faster/ more efficiently/ cheaper/ higher quality.
But it can also be in the form of a service or product that no one is really offering yet, but that still satisfies a legitimate need.
In my case, I created long-term coaching programs where most of the industry was offering only 1-day or 2-day courses.
The main insight here was that for genuine transformation, long-term, gradual change is more lasting and permanent than a weekend crash course.
Someone who takes a weekend program learns a ton of stuff, has some great experiences, and will probably be back to their old patterns come Monday morning. Two weeks out, they have probably forgotten 90% of everything they learned in the program (which they paid thousands of dollars for).
Meanwhile, in my long-term programs, the two-week mark wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg. The client would continue to grow and change bit by bit for many weeks, with me guiding him every step of the way.
Thus what I was offering was a permanent shift, rather than a quick fix. Almost no one else was offering that at the time.
3. Personalize and Customize
Especially if you are doing any kind of individualized service like coaching, personal training, marketing services, or styling, full personalization is essential to deliver maximum value.
But this also applies to less obvious services like accounting, computer repair, wedding photography, or just selling equipment and machines.
Where the work is very transferable from client to client, it’s good to customize as much as possible.
There’s always something you can do to make it more personal. If she loves the color pink, print reports on pink stationery. If he’s a big sports fan, use sports metaphors (“we have to build a good defense against over-spending,” or “this quarter was a slam dunk for sales”).
I realized this at the very beginning, and I decided that my coaching was not going to be a “cookie-cutter” system that I just transplanted from client to client.
Instead I would take general principles and tailor the message and even the actual structure and format of the program to the individual.
So with one client who was trying to find a better job, I would spend a lot of time on career-related advice: improving his resume, Linked In profile, and interview skills, and giving him assignments related to networking and contacting the right people.
Another client had a stable job and made plenty of money, but social skills and conversation skills were big challenges. So we would dedicate our sessions to social experiences and conversation practice.
All clients got at least a little bit of everything I had to offer, but I would customize it to each individual depending on his specific needs.
It may seem minor, but paying attention to detail goes a long way. By making the experience more personalized for the client, you create a kind of value that bigger faceless competitors simply cannot.