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Welcome to Week 3...

Lead with Value

We have a tendency to want to tell clients what they will get from working with us (the specific product or service) and how they can work with us, but it's better to lead with the value they get when they choose to work with us. Often when we hear "value" we think of a monetary value, but this is far deeper than that. Let me explain...

Think about when you watch car commercials. I'll use Subaru because they're a perfect example of a company that "leads with value." Often their commercials feature families, even with the family dog, and they are driving through muddy forests and then you see people hiking, camping, and enjoying nature together. Subaru is subconsciously showing you what they value and how their company reflects that. If you know about Subaru you know they are a company that is mindful and generous when it comes to helping the environment, getting people out into nature, and pet adoption. And they are showing you the ultimate value you can receive if you choose to buy one of their vehicles.

They aren't leading with, "Here's our new Outback...it costs this amount of money...buy it now!" They are showing you that if you also value quality time with your loved ones in nature, having adventures and meaningful experiences, and you want a vehicle that can safely transport you there, then they have vehicles for you. The Outback is just one of those vehicles, here's the newest model, and it costs this much. 

See how that's different? It's very similar to the Golden Circle from Week 1, but this time it's all "customer facing" rather than personal. 

And guess what...not everyone is keen on getting dirty out in nature. That's why there are so many different types of cars, and each company has their own ideal client. Subaru knows other car shoppers value different things, but they are only speaking to their ideal clients here, and demonstrating their value to them. 

In order to know the full spectrum of what you offer, we are going to use the Value Pyramid. Here are the 3 levels of the Value Pyramid, working from the bottom (foundation) and going up (to the highest point):

  • The How: These are all the logistics and details of how people work with you. There could be a few different answers here. Do they buy products? Services? Host parties? Join your team? I like to think of these as things on your business "menu" that people can select from.

  • The What: These are the specific outcomes people get when working with you. If you have various "menu items" you may also have different outcomes. I have mine listed below, but basically depending on how you choose to work with me, you get varying levels of sales help and support. 

  • The Why: This is the value people get when they work with you. This is why they would choose you over someone else. This is ultimate, special, one-of-a-kind magic that you are going to be bringing to them. This is where everything from the first two weeks of this course melds together so you can knock the socks off your ideal client. 

Figuring out the "why," the value, can be challenging. If you feel stuck, use the same "so that" method to help your brain go deeper. For example...

Suzy Q teaches yoga in weekly classes, though private 1:1 sessions, on her Facebook page and YouTube through videos, and at special workshops and retreats. She primarily focuses on pre-natal and post-natal yoga, to help people prepare for birth, and recover from the birthing process. 

But Suzy feels like she's stuck when it comes to thinking about the value she offers her client. But by using "so that" she realizes:

She is passionate about working with mothers so that they can feel good and present in their bodies to enjoy the process of labor and birth more fully, and with less stress and injury. She deeply believes that yoga is an important path for women who are going through a powerful, yet often challenging, time in their life. 

The value she brings isn't a specific method or program. It's not even really something completely tangible. Her clients get value in that she doesn't just care about teaching them yoga, but she cares about teaching them yoga in a way that honors the changes taking place in their body and mind

Things to consider when thinking about the value you offer:

  • Once you know your value, "lead" with it when you are creating content, such as sales pages, Work with Me pages, work proposals, sales emails, and when speaking with potential clients.

  • Your value can change and grow over time as you work with more and more clients.

  • People often buy with their emotion. You value statement should help people feel emotionally connected to how you are going to help them and solve their problems.

  • Your value is the secret sauce that sets you apart from the competition. Chances are there are other people who offer what you do, so the value people get when working with you is the special stuff only YOU can give them.

My Value Pyramid:

Value (Why someone would work with ME): When clients work with me they get to leverage my 20+ years of experience in sales to gain more confidence running their business and selling to clients. They get more success and joy in their business with a clear path forward, and can spend more time working in their business instead of on their business.

What: Clients get simple sales solutions, a plan, and support.

How: Courses (in person, online), 1:1 work, free content, talks, webinars, Facebook challenges

WORKSHEET:

  • Start at the bottom and work your way up. It's often easier to go with what's more obvious (How and What) and work your way toward the top (Value/Why) of the pyramid. 

If it doesn't come to you right away that's ok. Set a timer and free write. Ask past clients whom you trust and would feel comfortable talking to about this. Meditate on it for a few days if you have to.

-----> Use Page 5 in the worksheets. Download them here.

***Bonus tip!***

To help you brainstorm, think of businesses you enjoy spending your money with. How do they demonstrate their value to you? 

Is it with consistently good service? Thoughtful follow up? Their commitment to causes you care about? Something else? 

If you still aren't sure, be sure to reach out for help. Sometimes we are too close to our own business to see our value. Getting outside input can be very eye-opening. 

Additional Resource: Here are some great examples of sales pages that lead with value. They start by touching on the pain points of their ideal clients and then explain how they can solve them.

  • First up is my friend Kendra of Mother Like a Boss. This is for her course Homemakerish U

  • Next is my friend Michael. I used to work for him when he was farming. He now does farm consulting and I'm a paid contributor to his Small Farm University. You can check out the sales page here


Professional Problem Solver

Selling is two things: sharing and problem solving. That's it! For real, that's it. We're done here. HAHA! Just kidding, but seriously it is that simple. We just really love to complicate things so I'll break it down for you. 

You might be shaking your head saying, "But I don't solve any actual problems...I just sell candles Erika!" That's because I'm not talking about problems like, "OMG I can't pay the electric bill and our power is going to get turned off!" I mean simple, everyday problems. These are things that often don't even look like problems. And let's be real, does every single thing you spend money on solve a huge problem in your life? Probably not. 

Realistically we could each have one pair of shoes and get through life, but I bet you have a lot more than just one pair! Heck, you might even have a closet full! But you bought each pair because it filled a perceived need or want at the time you bought them. Even if it was simply, "I know I have 5 pairs of black heels but these have cute silver buckles on them and they would look so good with my skinny jeans!" Or have you ever done the following: You go to the makeup counter to buy one thing. The associate tells you if you spend $10 more you get a free makeup bag. You then buy a $15 dollar item you didn't intend on buying right then, but you justified it because it was a "good deal?" 

Hey, no judgement. I have done it and I will do it again! That's because we don't often use logic to make purchases, we use our emotions and our feelings. If something feels like it's going to make something better for us, it's easy to justify the purchase. 

The key is to know what your clients' "problems" are and get clear on the ways you can solve them. 

In order to figure out your clients' problems, it's important to ask them good questions and be a good listener. We will dive more deeply into this next week when we discuss actual sales conversations. 

Things to consider when thinking about problems you solve:

  • Depending on your business, you may solve multiple problems. This is perfectly fine!

  • A problem doesn't have to be real, it just has to be perceived by the other person to be valid. It's like seeing an awesome pair of shoes you didn't know existed, but now you are certain you have to have them!

  • You can also think of it as "taking something off their plate" if you offer a service. Most people who hire house cleaners know how to clean, they would just rather pay a professional and spend their weekends doing something other than cleaning.

  • If you offer something that can be gifted, don't forget that by letting people know you can help them fulfill a need to purchase a gift, you are solving their problem. I love when I have easy, enjoyable gifts to give to people and I love buying from small businesses.

  • I often tell my clients who are in direct sales that a problem they solve for hostesses can be that they don't get enough quality time with their friends. Yes, that's a real thing! Sure, they get hostess rewards from the company, but a lot of people enjoy the fun of hanging out with people they love, even if it's just for a few hours.

Ways I Problem Solve in my business:

  • I help my clients get confidence and clarity around selling in their business.

  • I give them language they can use to make selling feel better that actually works!

  • I can look at a business and see areas where simple tweaks can be made to enhance the customer's experience and boost the bottom line.

  • I can assist people with hiring and outsourcing so they can scale their businesses.

But I can't actually help them run their social media accounts. Or do their bookkeeping. Or run their Facebook ad campaign. So I'm really clear on what I can do, and then because I love to connect people and problem solve, I try to partner my clients with other businesses who can help fill in the gaps that I cannot. Could I technically help my clients with a lot more of the nitty gritty stuff? Sure, technically I could. But I don't want to. It's not my Zone of Genius. I'd rather connect you with people who will be the best help for you in those areas, while I help from my own Zone of Genius areas. Or I could teach you so that you could do it yourself, if you aren't ready to outsource yet. 

WORKSHEET:

  • The top half are ways you use your own business to solve other people's problems. 

  • The bottom half are problems you need solved in your own business. I included this because it's important to really pinpoint what our "problems" are before we are able to find solutions for them. Then you can reach out to me or in the group to see about getting help with these things. 

-----> Use Page 6 in the worksheets. Download them here.

***Bonus tip!***

I love this story from Meredith Hill. It incorporates the concepts of value and problem solving for clients so nicely.  

“People don’t go to the hardware store to purchase a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole. So, when marketing your business, STOP SELLING YOUR PRODUCTS! You are hiding behind them. It’s time to start selling the hole. And YOU are the hole!!! The solutions you offer are the hole. The dreams you deliver are the hole. Lead with this in every bit of marketing you have.”

Additional Resource: A few years ago I saw Bridget Brennan speak at a conference about female consumer habits and mindset. It was mesmerizing! She has a whole book about it called Why She Buys: The New Strategy for Reaching the World's Most Powerful Consumers. You can check it out here