I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about what he needed to do in order to win a certain client. As he was telling me about their interactions I asked him a simple question, “What value to they see in partnering with your company?”
He told me later on, “That was one of the most profound things I have ever heard.”
I wish I can say I made up that concept, but I learned it from my father. Creating value is the best way to keep a customer. You might win some quick business with a low price, but if your product or service doesn’t create value, then the next guy will come in and nudge you out with an even lower price.
Even more important than creating value for your customers is knowing what your company values, and better yet- knowing what you personally value. Values are the nonnegotiable principles that define the character of a person, a company or any group of people.
It is important for a company, a division and even a family to know what the values of the group are. If they are not clearly stated, then in times of difficulty people will react based on their own set of values. That can sometimes lead them down a path you don’t want them to take.
One of my personal values is “I will not lie to you.” This is not an easy value to have in corporate America these days! Oftentimes I have to risk losing a piece of business because I can’t meet a specific need of my customer. That being said, I have found that most of the time I still retain the customer, and I will usually get first crack at the next business opportunity.
Staying true to my values has earned me a lot more business than I have lost.
Don’t forget to advertise your values! Does your company value dependability? If you advertise that value and you are accountable to it, then you will become known by your customer base for dependability and become valued by your customers because of it.
Do you know what your company values? What about your family? Have you ever really asked yourself, “What do I value?” You don’t have to wait for an organization to tell you what to value, you can take your personal values to your customers and make them known!
If you haven’t done so already, take a few minutes and write down a few of your personal values. Make a plan to tell your customers, your spouse or your children about them and that they can expect to see them in your interactions with them. It might take some time for them to see consistency, but when they do you are going to love the results!