(Time to read this Blog is about 3 minutes)

Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking:

  1. My biz quote of the week:
    “In business, everything that happens between intent and delivery is ‘process’.  Process ain’t sexy…but I don’t want to fly on an airline that doesn’t have it.  It’s ‘process’ that stops those planes from falling out of the sky.  Which of your processes need improving?  Make a list and get to work.”
    …Donald Cooper  
  2. Redefining ‘Luxury’. For years, we’ve believed that ‘luxury’ was the rare, the expensive and the exclusive.  Now, perhaps, we realize that ‘luxury’ is those little things that we didn’t value when we had them, but are so precious now that they cannot be taken for granted.
     
    Luxury is being healthy.  Luxury is being able to walk in a park, or by the seashore.  Luxury is going out of your house and breathing without a mask. Luxury is being with your whole family and meeting with friends.  Smiles are a luxury.  Hugs and kisses are a luxury. Luxury is enjoying the sunrise and sunset…and all that happens in between.  Loving and being loved is luxury.  Luxury is the privilege of being alive.  Stay blessed.  Stay grateful.          
  1. Start planning now to make 2021 your best year ever. While we’re all trying to figure out how to make it through this Covid mess, it’s also important to start the serious work of planning to make 2021 your best year ever…or, at least, better than this one.
     
    To help you get started, download my ‘no charge’ Biz Tool #B-7, ’13 questions to ask to make next year your best year ever.’  Click here.   
     
    For even more help in developing a clear, specific and measurable Vision and ‘Commitment to Action’ for your business, you can purchase our transformational 34-page ‘Vision Critical Guide’ for just $24. Click the link here for the downloadable PDF.          

Now, to this week’s important topic:

If you can’t get specific about your value, you have no value story: 

In last week’s Blog I talked about the 3 types of value your business can and should deliver.  They’re  a) functional,  b) emotional and  c) financial value.  To view that insightful Blog, Click here.

Most businesses are not clear about their value promise and it’s killing them. They don’t know ‘who they are’, so neither do their target customers.  If you can’t state your compelling value clearly, specifically and concisely, you’re doomed to be an undifferentiated commodity with marginal profitability and a rocky future. 

When I ask clients why anyone should do business with them, they generally say stuff like, “Because we’re the best”. This is meaningless.  ‘The best’ at what…and for whom?  Are you the most rugged, most stylish, biggest, smallest, best flavor, biggest selection, smartest, freshest, fastest, slowest, cheapest?   We all need to get much more specific about our value.

First, we need to be clear about who our target customers are and what they really value.  Then we must focus on delivering that value at every touchpoint, every time. Finally, we must communicate our value commitment in everything we do and say. For example, discount hotel website Hotwire.com is absolutely clear about the compelling value they deliver and they’ve brilliantly captured that in their positioning statement, ‘4 star hotels at 2 star prices.’   Simple, clear, compelling…brilliant! 

And here’s the bonus.  It’s a whole lot easier running your business with that kind of clarity.  You and your team know exactly what your mission is, you don’t get distracted, and your target customers know immediately if you’re the ‘wise choice’ for them.     

A few years ago, I found a retail shop in New Zealand that’s absolutely clear about its value. The name of the business is ‘CHEAP LIQUOR’.   Two words…says it all …no confusion.

Then there’s the reinvention of the parking garage in Germany that takes up 80% less space, costs less to build and retrieves cars faster. Three compelling value promises, clearly stated.  

Sometimes a value statement needs to be more comprehensive to tell your complete story, especially if what you do involves several sequential steps to complete your value delivery.  I worked with a group of heating and air conditioning contractors in Australia a while back and they all described their value in terms of “delivering good service”, or “doing good work”, or “we’re the best” and other vague and meaningless generalities.       

So, I came up with a detailed 8-point specific value commitment that would clearly differentiate them and get them the business.  Read this ‘8-point value commitment’ carefully and look for all the specific, confidence-inspiring ‘value’ words and phrases.  I count over 30 of them. 

XYZ  Heating & Air Conditioning
Our 8-point Value Commitment!

  1. Professional needs analysis and system design by expert technicians to ensure an effective, economical and environmentally-friendly solution to your air quality, climate control and air management needs.
  2. Top-quality components, backed by the manufacturers’ guarantee …and our own additional guarantee.
  3. Top-quality work done right, first time, on time, by our qualified, bonded and courteous team.
  4. Perfect clean-up at job completion.
  5. On-site instruction re all aspects of system operation and maintenance.
  6. Automatic system follow-up in 3 weeks to verify all aspects of system performance.
  7. 24 hour – 365-day emergency service.
  8. All mechanical systems and equipment need seasonal maintenance and service to keep serving you effectively.  We offer you a choice of free automatic service reminders at key intervals…or our ‘Peace of Mind’ Automatic Service Package, at reasonable rates.

 

This is a clear and specific statement of customer value that keeps you and your team focused on the full value promise from start to finish.  It communicates clear standards, facilitates staff accountability and suggests to customers that you have an organized, professional and business-like approach. It says, “We’ve thought of everything!”  Customers are clear and confident about the extraordinary value they’ll get every step of the way…all of which makes it not all about ‘price’.

 Reality Check:
So, what’s your clear and compelling value that ‘grabs’ your target customers, clearly differentiates you from your competitors, makes you ‘famous’ and grows your bottom line? 

To Do:
If you’re currently not delivering clear, compelling and differentiating value, you have work to do.  What combination of functional, emotional and financial value will make you the clear ‘wise choice’ for your target customers?  What might ‘extraordinary’ look like?  What have your competitors not had the insight, the passion or the courage to do?  How will you create and deliver that?  Think and feel like a customer and involve your team.  They know stuff.   

Then, choose either the 3-point ‘parking garage’ value statement, the Hotwire.com slogan or the more comprehensive heating & air conditioning ‘8 point value commitment’ above to guide you in creating your own clear and compelling value commitment that you will actually deliver.  It will change your business.  Clarity always does!

If you’d like help with this important process, email me at donald@donaldcooper.com to chat about possibilities.  It could be the most important email you send this year. 

That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly…and do at least 3 important or kind things each day!       

Donald Cooper 

About Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper, MBA, CSP, HoF: Donald speaks and coaches in over 40 industries throughout the world.  He delivers the ‘straight goods’ on how to sell more, manage smarter, grow your bottom line...and have a life!  To chat about ‘possibilities’ for your next business or Industry Association Conference, call me at 416-252-3703 in Toronto, or click here to connect to our ‘Enquiry Page’.  

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