When people ask you “what do you do”, what do you tell them? Do you say “we make widgets” – or “we make great widgets” – or something very similar? If you do, you are reflecting a classic product centric view of the world! You are actually putting your products first and your customers second. You are assuming that your customers actually want what you happen to make and all you have to do is to make them and sell them well.

What customers care about is their own business – not yours – and what they are really interested in, when they do business with you, is your ability to improve their businesses – and nothing else! What they are looking for is the VALUE that you can ADD to their business – and nothing else!

Simple tips that will help you add the value that customers seek:

  • Think of yourself as a provider of solutions rather than products or services – people do not buy drills because they like drills – they want a solution = a hole!
  • Distinguish between what you are selling and what your customer is buying – again, you are selling drills, your customer is making holes – see the world from his perspective not yours.
  • Take the broadest possible view of your customers underlying problems. A view that goes beyond you and your products. What else can you do that will add value to your customers business and be profitable – for both of you.
  • Price in terms of value, rather than cost. Adding value to your customers is a great way of moving away from cost based commodity pricing i.e your competitors.

There is plenty of evidence to support the view that businesses that add value to their customers are more profitable and more highly regarded than their competitors. Isn’t that where you want to be?