In Change, Focus, Leaders

“I don’t want features, I want value. I don’t want benefits, I want value.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

I recently had a conversation with a client about recruiting. They’ve been looking to fill a position for over a year, and have gotten to the point of making offers, but haven’t had anyone say ‘yes’. I asked if they’ve gotten any feedback from people that turned them down. The main thing this business has learned is that the selling points they thought would attract people haven’t resonated. The potential recruits just didn’t value what our client was offering.

That got me thinking about every interaction we have as businesses. Our goal is to provide value to others. If that’s the case, how can we possibly be successful if we don’t know what others value? Think about these:

What do your customers/clients value? I know a lot of businesses that say their customers choose them because of the quality of their work. Then later I hear that those businesses lost a customer because their competition was cheaper. Well, if they hired you just because you did better work, would they have fired you just for somebody cheaper? Maybe quality isn’t the differentiator for them after all.

The point is, do you know why customers pick you? Do you know what your customers really value about your product or service? Even if you think you know, I’d suggest asking your ‘A’ customers what they value most about what you do. It’s hard to keep customers happy if you don’t know what’s making them happy in the first place.

What do your people value? The same thing applies to the people in your organization. Do you know what they value about working for you? We tend to think it’s something about pay or benefits or flex time or casual Tuesdays or whatever – do we really know?

Most people would agree that attracting and retaining the best people is critical to the success of any business. If you don’t know what potential recruits value, how can you attract them? If you don’t know what your employees value, how can you retain them? Have you ever simply asked your people what’s the most important thing to them about working for you?

Bonus question – What do you value? So far in 2017 we’ve talked several times in this space (here, for example) about creating the business you want to have. To do that, you have to know what you want, or to say it another way, what you value about your business. What are you absolutely not willing to compromise? What are you really trying to create? Is it the money? Is it the culture? Is it providing whatever you provide to your customers? Whatever it is, you have to understand what you value as the leader of the organization.

Value is what really matters. If you don’t understand what value is to you and those around you, good luck – you’ll need it.

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