Hearing that phrase, “You have to add value,” can sound wonderful as part of your business habits. But what does it really mean? It can be a lofty idea without materializing into something real that connects with another person.
The better question when you are working with a customer is to look at them with full attention and think, “What is valuable to them?” It takes concentration and intentionality.
We are in our own heads too much and think about what is valuable to ourselves without realizing it most of the time. Then we project what we value onto others. It’s easy to do. But it’s starting from the wrong place.
Asking what your customer truly values means you can see their worldview and the story they tell themselves. Often what they value is unspoken:
“I want to feel important. Make me feel important.”
“I want my network to respect me and see my accomplishments.”
“I want comfort and ease these days.”
“I want to not worry and feel secure about my position.”
“I want to win and be perceived as the top dog.”
The easy way to find out what is valuable to someone is to simply observe. Turn off the sound. Look at what they do and ignore what they say. We say things to position and appear put together.
And if you are thinking that you are providing great service and feeling good about your own efforts, you may miss what is really going on in the customer experience and relationship. The question is still about whether your customer values what you are doing, not whether you value it.
This kind of insight and approach to how you do business requires strategic thinking. Step back and think about what is valuable to people you deal with. Think about the things they are not saying but are true.
Then meet those deeply held motives and beliefs to retain, nurture and grow your relationships.
What do you observe as valuable to your clients that they are not saying?