How To Provide Value & Still Make a Profit
Value is more – much more – than a good price or a good deal. It’s become a bit of a buzz-word for marketers lately because that’s what people are looking for, more so than a great price or a good deal. People want results. They want ROI. They want to know that what they are buying is going to solve their problem or fill a need. So, do you provide value or are you just offering a great deal?
How do you know if you’re providing value, even if your offer is a great deal? Chances are, you probably already know the answer to this – if not, here are a few ways to create value in your offerings that will keep your customers coming back long after the sale.
Offer a Valuable Freebie
Everyone loves free stuff – especially when it’s valuable. What better way to provide value to your customers than with a free asset or resource? You could give discounts on products and services as well, however, remember, that shouldn’t be offered all the time or else no one will buy your products or services at full price. The best way to utilize this particular method to provide value is to give a beneficial resource – something that will either help them save time, money or both – with no sales pitch within it. Wait, what? No sales pitch? Yup. None. But why?
The idea of offering something valuable for free isn’t to make a sale off of that particular asset – it’s to show your customer that you’re more interested in them, not just their business. You need to show that you care about their business as much as you care about your own. Because when your customers do well, you’ll do well. Your customer, in turn, will see the asset or resource, not just as a freebie, but as a valuable product that you provided.
Share Exclusive Content
In addition to offering a freebie, make sure that you also offer your customers exclusive content to make them feel as though they’re getting “inside information”. People like exclusivity. They like feeling, for lack of a better word, special. And, to be honest, don’t you want to treat your existing customers – the folks who keep your business running – a little better – as a “thank you” for being a loyal client? Sure you do. One way to provide value that way is to offer content – guides, tips, a course, tutorial, blog posts, etc. just to your existing client list.
Should you always keep this content “exclusive”? Well, you could, however, you could also repurpose it. Turn it into a paid asset. Use it as an incentive to “sign on”. By having exclusive content, you can control who receives it and the terms on which they receive it. Additionally, you’ll want to refresh your content regularly so that it doesn’t become uninteresting or irrelevant and thus, no longer an incentive.
Give Them What They Want
This should come as no surprise and this is something that you should already be doing to provide value by giving your customers what they want. Truth be told, you’ll probably not be able to give them everything they want from you. And, that’s ok. However, it’s important to know what your customers really want. Why? Well, it’s simple – if they aren’t getting what they really want from you, they will go elsewhere. They might go to a competitor or someone that will give them the value that they want cheaper. More regularly. It’s important to deliver the things that you know they want from you – the important thing is knowing what to give them.
Providing value that isn’t practical, or isn’t helpful to your customers, isn’t value at all. It doesn’t have to be a great deal, though often, customers are looking for that kind of thing from you. However, it’s more likely that they want your resources – like, where can they get things printed inexpensively? What’s the best way to launch a product? Do I need a landing page and why? These are the kinds of things that provide value to your customers – honest, practical knowledge that can help them make an educated decision.
Educate & Inform
Going hand-in-hand with giving them what they want, a great way to provide value to your customers is to educate and inform them. Teach them something. Offer an online course in how to perform a specific task or go through the steps to successfully market a product or service. The more education you can provide them, the more value they’ll find in your products and services.
Frequently these days, you’ll see many businesses offering white papers or ebooks that serve as downloadable guides to a particular product or service. These downloads are usually chock full of information that serve as a reference for those who choose to download them. By educating your customers, you can not only give them valuable information, you might even be able to make life easier for you and your business if your customer understands the process behind a particular product or service.
Be Responsive and Attentive to Customer Requests
Finally, it’s important to provide value to your customers by being responsive to their needs as well as being attentive to their requests. Good support goes a long way toward customer loyalty. You can have a product that may be inferior than another, however, if your service and support are superior and you’re known for treating your customers with respect and being responsive, you’ll find that that kind of value may be the difference between the choice of your business over someone elses.
This said, don’t be disillusioned with the idea that the customer is always right; they are frequently not. However, there’s a right way that to work with your customer through any differences or support issues that will help provide value and a wrong way that turns them away.
Value comes in all shapes and sizes. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – and value is no different. Making sure that you are truly offering value to your customers and not just what you perceive to be valuable is extremely important. This kind of knowledge comes from knowing your customers and fostering strong business relationships with them. By so doing, they will tell you what they feel is valuable and you’ll be able to provide that for them.
Certainly the above methods for providing value are not the only ways to provide value for your customers. How do you do it? Is there something missing from the list that should be added?