Value, Legwork, & Books

March 26, 2024

view out a windshield of a car in the rain

Dear Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Dreamers, and Creators of Great Things: I write these Love Letters each month with the hope of bringing you a little encouragement, some marketing help, and a few minutes of joy. Whether we are already friends or have yet to meet, I hope you’ll enjoy my stories from the road and some awesomely random takeaways, tools, tips, and updates.

What is value? 

If I had a dollar for every time I saw an article, video, post, or Zoom invite in the past week about value, I could buy that French chateau I’ve had my eye on. Every one of them screamed, “Show your value!” Or, “Bring value!” Or, “Explain your value!”

Except, you can’t really do any of those things.

Value is not your price or your cost. It’s not how much something is worth. (Sorry, Webster’s Dictionary, agree to disagree.) Value is the emotional feeling associated with solving a problem.

A few weeks ago, I drove home from Toronto in a torrential rainstorm. On that drive, I realized my windshield wipers needed to be replaced. This is one of the tasks I dislike doing because I can’t reach them very well on my car and so I put it off as long as possible – which I regretted on that four hour drive home. So, I went to the auto parts store to buy the new wipers. As I was checking out, the very kind young man at the counter asked me if I would like him to install them. Yes. Please.

As I drove away from that store with shiny new wipers, I felt relief. I felt safety. I felt thankful. I couldn’t tell you how much the wipers cost. I didn’t really look. I didn’t ask for a discount or a coupon. The value, to me, wasn’t in the wipers. It was the 5 minutes that it took Nick to install them for me. It was the feeling of relief that gave me, knowing I wouldn’t need to go home and somehow figure out how to install them on my own.

You can’t show value or bring value or explain value, friends.
You have to make them feel it.

A whole lot of people these days are marketing themselves by poking the pain. (Here’s how you’ll suffer if you don’t hire me.) But I think the more effective way to market is to help people imagine how they’ll feel if the pain goes away. This requires creativity, imagination, time, effort, listening, understanding, communication, proactivity. It means you stop talking about yourself and instead, talk about them.

Imagine how you’ll feel if…
Let me tell you about a time when…
The last time this came up, we…

Take the time to tell a story they can imagine themselves living in. A story where they end up feeling relief, safety, and thankfulness. That, my friends, is where the value is.

image with the words In the Rearview, lessons learned and stories from the road

Do the Legwork.

I had a chat with a client recently about their business. I asked him, “What is your biggest challenge right now?”

His answer came quickly – “Getting people to follow through.” He explained that they are having great success with lead generation, but very few people actually take the next step to sign up for something, fill out their details, or complete the transaction.

I asked him, “What are you doing to help them take that step? Are you doing any ‘abandon cart’ marketing? Or sending any reminders to those who didn’t finish the process?”

He shook his head and said, “You know, that is the simplest response and we aren’t doing any of that.”

A while later, I was scrolling on my phone and saw an ad for an online class I wanted to take. But to register I needed to sign up, give my details, add my credit card, and choose from some options. The problem was, I was on the couch, scrolling on my phone, and deep into season 4 of Dawson’s Creek (the part where Pacey and Joey break my heart.)

Anyway, the likelihood of me registering for that class at that moment was low, given all the info I needed. As I was scrolling through the course website, this banner popped up:

banner that says remind me to apply before the deadline

All I had to do was type in my email and I would get a reminder to sign up later. GENIUS.

Here’s the point of these two stories:
Sometimes your problem is not a lack of motivated customers.
Sometimes your problem is not the lack of an awesome product or service.
Sometimes, your problem is simply a lack of legwork in the middle.

Look at where you might be losing them, and figure out how to be there. It just might make all the difference.

image of a record player with words saying rockstars, awesome ideas, people, and tools

This is where I share the good stuff.

… the latest websites, books, & tools that are inspiring me, the people who are making me smile, and the stuff I have been writing on sticky notes.


Thanks for reading, friends! If you want to get these in your inbox every month, be sure to get on the mailing list. And if you are looking for a speaker who will motivate your organization to get up, get moving, and face change head-on, I would love to chat.