How to Become More Valuable To Your Client
Written by Dave Lorenzo on October 5, 2016 / Sales Strategy
Sometimes it is impossible to see the value we provide to others because we are too close to the day-to-day activity of our profession.
This is often the situation I encounter when I speak with an entrepreneur who needs help with sales. He is perplexed because there are other businesses in his field (or in their area) who command higher fees or seem to land more lucrative clients.
If you find yourself in this situation the answer is often not found in adjusting the products and services you provide but in helping your clients (and prospective clients) understand the value of those products and services.
Here are some powerful points of value you should stress as you develop a relationship with your client. Although there are ten points on this list, I am willing to bet most business leaders overlook at least half.
Let’s see how many you recognize – but more importantly: How many do you think your client will recognize in you?
Avoiding Exposure to Risk
Clients need to be able to move forward aggressively with their business activity. It is no coincidence that the expression “Fortune favors the bold” is the mantra of many successful business leaders.
In order to move forward in a swift and aggressive manner, a client needs to have someone watching his back. Incorporating your product or service into a strategic plan can be extremely valuable.
Show how your service or product is less risky than all the others. Demonstrate how (and why) it is safer to do business with you than it is to do business with your competition.
Solutions to Problems
You will work with many diverse groups of clients throughout your career. This experience should be a valuable asset. The things you have seen and done should not only benefit your business – your clients should benefit from your experience too.
This is the essence of consulting. Your firm brings experience and education to a situation to help a client make a good decision.
When a client faces a particularly challenging business problem, he should be able to call upon you for council, even if you sell widgets. No matter what business you are in, your relationship with your client means you are in the business of solving problems.
Maturity of Judgment
Your judgment should be developed from a rational review of the facts supported with case studies from past experience. This is what encompasses maturity of judgment.
After you review your client’s condition you should recall similar situations from your past and solutions to them. Present each case to your client in a fair and impartial way. Demonstrate how your product or service solved the problem. Also demonstrate cases where people used other products or services. This allows your client to make the best possible decision.
Clients may be emotionally invested in one point of view over another. It is this maturity of judgment that will help them come to the best decision. The value you provide comes from boiling down the issue and helping the client review it from a rational point of view.
Thorough and Comprehensive Assessment
In conjunction with the maturity of judgment you exhibit, you should also provide your client with a thorough and comprehensive review of his situation. You should leave no stone unturned.
The piece of mind this type of review provides the client is invaluable. It is your job to help prevent as well as cure your client’s sleepless nights. Providing this type of security is worth its weight in gold.
Communication by Proxy
Sometimes your client will need somebody to be the bad guy. That is a role that you should be able to fill.
Similarly, you can approach a client’s rival on his behalf, as the “voice of reason”. This will often allow your client to save face if he has taken a tough position that he now finds untenable.
If your client does not have the time or resources to review a matter, your value is enhanced by your direct focus. Giving the client the gift of time is something that is seen as incredibly valuable.
Your expertise in a particular area is important and valuable. A client cannot be an expert on all the nuanced aspects of each and every facet of his business.
Leverage your education and experience in as narrow a nice as possible. You must own that nice in the client’s eyes. This expertise will pay a handsome return on investment.
Business leaders trust very few people. Individuals who have earned that trust are people who are relied upon again and again.
Your availability to provide ongoing support to your client is an asset. If you are accessible when he needs you, and you provide sound advice, you can command a premium that your client will gladly pay.
Protection from Future Threats
In business, change is constant and the future is uncertain. If you have a good track record with a client, he will find comfort in having you by his side as he heads into uncharted waters.
This is a highly valued aspect to any professional relationship yet it is frequently overlooked. When your client thinks about the team he has assembled to charge forward into the future, you should be one of the first people who come to mind.
When you are good, and I mean really good, your clients will want to keep you from their competitors. They need to pay handsomely for this privilege. Exclusivity is tremendously valuable (particularly in a narrow niche).
Help your clients see how good you are and they will want to lock you up and keep you all to themselves.
Your clients may need some assistance in recognizing some of these points of value. It is your job to help them understand that just because something is intangible doesn’t mean that it has little or no value. (Faith and love are intangible but they are coveted by most humans.)
Assessing your relationship with your client and finding subtle ways to remind him of your ability to deliver on the points listed above will keep your relationship financially strong.
Here are three additional articles that will help you demonstrate your value to your clients.
This sounds crazy. Sometimes when you don’t know you could fail, you are empowered to do anything.
You must care more about your success than anyone else. Do you?
Don’t be afraid to tell everyone how great you are. Here’s how to do it.