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Andrew Neitlich

In the last blog post, a great discussion ensued about how to define value. The responses were great, and I have only one thing to add. It’s a visual way of picturing value, and at least two books (Sandler’s You Can’t Teach a Kid to Rid a Bike at a Seminar and Rackham’s SPIN Selling) use it.

Think of value as a scale, one of those old-fashioned balancing scales, like the scale of liberty.

One one side are your fees. Imaging that the scale starts off with your fees weighing down the left side of the scale. Nothing is on the right.

The right side of the scale can be one of two things. First, it can be the cost of the problem (or the pain) to your prospect. Your job is to ask great questions so that the prospect comes to the conclusion that their problem is costing them way more than your fees. What’s it costing them to not have a website, or to have a sub-optimal website? As you ask questions or (sparingly) present facts/figures, gradually the balance of the scale shifts, until it is clear that the cost of the prospect’s problem exceeds your fees to solve the problem. That’s value.

Alternatively, you can think of the right of the scale as benefits. Once you show that the benefits of your solution far outweigh your fees, you have demonstrated value.

In both cases, the posts to the last blog did a fine job explaining how to do this.

In a former life, when I was a management consultant, we tried hard to show — even guarantee — that we could generate $10 for every $1 we charged in fees. That was our way of demonstrating value, and we were pretty good at keeping our promise.

So when you sit down with a prospect, have the visual of a scale in your head. As you ask questions, get a sense of whether the scale is tipping or not. If you can’t make the scale tip, you probably won’t get the job.