One quick answer: can we see it?
And does seeing it invoke an emotional response?
Trying to get to the bottom of what clients perceive as valuable is challenging, but I’ve started to realise an important part is whether they can see it.
Whether they can point at it. Whether they can easily show it to others.
A few examples to highlight the differences:
- Improving the efficiency of a sales pipeline to free up hours of time daily for a team – you’d think this is valuable, right? Probably not to most sales managers. It’s just a problem solved, and forgotten by the next week, as other problems demand attention. Good luck trying to invoice for that at the end of the month…
- Setting up automation to improve data quality so that marketing and sales can be more effective with their targeting. Surely that’s valuable? See above – likely forgotten by next week.
- Driving qualified leads for the team – high value right? Get a grip… we want more, and why is the cost per lead going up during this competitive time… explain yourself!
- New branding, style guide and logo for the company – just vanity right? Fuck no, that’s the best thing all year – look at our new positioning in the market. Love the colours. Everyone’s raving about the new email signature… let’s post on LinkedIn about it now!
- Brand new website featuring a new About Us page that tells our company story, and corporate identity… surely that’s just vanity again right? Nope, the CEO loves it. Company morale is on the rise.
The important distinction is how the client ‘feels’ about it. The emotion.
They can proudly show a new logo to a friend. They can love a branding identity.
But how do you ‘show’ efficiency? What does it look like? How you even explain it to someone else?
If you can’t explain it, or feel something about it, or point to it, it’s hard to ‘value’ it when the invoice comes in.
It’s taken me way too long to appreciate this.