When you’re asked, ‘what makes you different?’ it’s often the added extras that are the differentiators that make people lean in with interest. To sum up added value in one word, it’s giving.
We’re looking at how you can add value to your already excellent services or products, and how that keeps your customers coming back to you for more, or even better, telling their friends about you.
Your added value is created by your differentiator and those things that are unique to you.
Here are three examples of how you may add value in the eyes of others.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
CSR can be defined as activities that your business undertakes which have the sole purpose of having a positive influence on your community, environment, or the world.
Demonstrating that you have the desire to use your business to make a positive difference, can help people decide whether you’re the person they want to work with or buy from. And, when you get involved in local clubs and charities, you will also become part of a new community, where new connections and opportunities could arise to help further or win new customers.
Some examples of CSR activities could be:
- Managing your carbon footprint with an aim to become carbon neutral or carbon positive
- Supporting a local school, or a sports or social club
- Making regular contributions to a charity
- Purchasing only Fair Trade and ethical products for your office.
If two businesses were the same in every aspect except that one planted trees every year, it could be enough to tip the balance in your favour.
Give away something valuable
This refers to your knowledge, skills, expertise or time. You could write a blog, record a podcast or share tips on social media.
People buy from people and so demonstrating your desire to help, and actually doing it, fosters rapport with your customers and establishes a level of trust.
Giving something away is the easiest way to help someone, even if it’s an hour of your time to listen to a problem.
Remember your customer after the sale has been made
Added value may actually come under the banner of relationship marketing. Saying thank you, recognising a birthday or anniversary, a festive season or even simply remembering that they’ve been on holiday next time you speak makes a person feel like they matter to you.
A phone call, an email, or a piece of real post through the door to mark a memorable point in your relationship goes a long way to add value to your product or service, and counts towards the sales and marketing touchpoints of the customer journey too.
I like to add value to my mentoring by including a knowledge base on my website, full of questions and thoughts around sales & marketing, and business strategy. I host Oxfordshire Business Community Network groups (OBCN) across the county and connect people every day, and I also host the Business Brunch radio show on Get Radio with my OBCN colleague Ben Thompson, where we invite other business owners to talk on air about a chosen topic. But one of the things I am most proud of, is my volunteer work with young entrepreneurs in schools and colleges in the area. I’d love to hear how you add value to your product or services, or if you’d like advice on how to fit it into your already busy schedule, I’m always here with an hour of free business mentoring where we can talk about what matters most to you, and what additions would be a good fit for you and your business. Just click on ‘Can I Help’ at the top of the page. In the meantime, enjoy this snippet on providing value, from Aaron Rudman-Hawkins of The Evergreen Agency.