The Benefits of Creating Value for Your Clients
Pomegranate is a mentoring emagazine for creative entrepreneurs—that’s you! Their March 2012 issue is all about creating value for your customers.
Creating value is the easiest way to differentiate you from your competitors. To be honest, when I choose vendors to work with, the lowest price doesn’t always win out. I look for what they can offer me beyond the sale—and often it’s the little “extra” things that make paying a little more completely worth it.
“There are two kinds of clients out there—clients who are looking for the lowest price and clients who are looking for the greatest value. Who would you rather work with?” —Peleg Top, Pomegranate
I truly admire the sales director for the magazine I work for. Her consultative selling method and willingness to partner with clients makes her a great success. She doesn’t just sell advertising, she listens to what her clients need and comes up with solutions on how to help. Very often her solutions help us make money, too, but there is always a mutual benefit. When your clients realize you are working with them, and not simply for them, you are creating value.
We make the most money out of working with clients who believe in value. So we work extra hard to find ways to offer added value to these clients. In the end, it pays off, and you can do the same thing with your clients.
I really liked the creating value suggestions Pomegranate editor, Peleg Top, included in the March issue, so I thought I’d share them…
Pay attention and follow up
How does your work impact your clients? How do your clients use the work you created? Did they achieve their goals? Be sure to follow up with your clients after you have delivered the work to measure and track results.
You can learn a lot by keeping in contact with your clients that will help you with future projects. If something worked really well, use it again. If not, you now know what you need to do differently next time. If you don’t ask, you will never know. Plus, you are showing your client that you care about their success and not just the paycheck they cut you. Plus, you can get some great referrals and testimonials out of happy clients.
What is the return on investment?
You need to know how your work will help your client in order for them to hire you. Finding the ROI isn’t always easy, but if you work with your client to measure it, they will see you as more of a partner and less of a vendor.
“If you can clearly see the ROI your work creates, you can show how valuable you are to your clients.” —Peleg Top
Plus, tracking the ROI for one project will help sell your services to other companies who work in the same industry. If you can show me how your work helped someone else in the magazine industry, I am more willing to hire you to help me.
Know the benefits
Every client wants to know what is in it for them. How does your work make their lives easier? If you don’t know the answer, you can’t sell them your services.
Be an expert
When I look to hire a new freelance writer, I always want them to show me their resume and clips. If someone has no magazine writing experience, I am wary to hire them (and I usually don’t). Being an expert means you are less of a risk.
“People value and are willing to pay more for expertise Your expertise should connect to whatever your clients need help with.” —Peleg Top
Aren’t you more willing to work with someone who has experience doing what it is you need help with? Sure, it might be cheaper to hire that college sophomore, but are you going to get the service and experience you desire? Probably not.
Creating value is more than just good customer service. It’s going above and beyond what it expected of you in your contract. It’s caring about the outcome of your finished product. It’s helping the client see that they made the right decision in hiring you because you are helping to measure the success of your work.
Creating value is great for your existing clients, but it’s also a great tool for showcasing what you have to offer new clients. If you can show someone that you are about building a relationship, rather than just completing your contract, you will be helping to build yourself a better brand.