In The Go-Giver story, written by our founder Bob Burg and his co-author John David Mann, our fictional hero, Joe goes looking for some big guns to help close a tough deal; “clout and leverage” is what Joe’s says he’s after. Instead, he finds a system of five interlocking principles that at first sound counterintuitive, naive, even silly, but in the end, prove to make Joe’s world his oyster.
For the story’s sake, we frame this as one individual’s experience, but in real life, these five principles actually form a key that unlocks optimum productivity and job satisfaction for individuals, departments and entire organisations. Taken together, they can be used to create a culture of sales and service excellence in the workplace that results in both individual and team success.
The first of these five principles, the Law of Value, goes like this: “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.” This law can be misconstrued when you first hear it. It sounds a little counterproductive. I mean, how do you give more in value than you take in payment, and survive in business, never mind thrive in business?
It sounds almost like a recipe for bankruptcy; giving more in value than you take in payment?
What we really need to understand is simply the difference between price and value. You see, price is a dollar amount, it's a dollar figure, and it’s finite. Value, on the other hand, is the relative worth or desirability of a thing, to the end user. In other words, what is it about this thing, this product, this service, this concept, this idea that brings with it so much value, so much worth that someone will exchange their hard-earned money for it and be glad, be ecstatic that they did while you still make a very healthy profit?
Let me give you an example. You hire an accountant to do your tax returns. And she charges you one thousand dollars. And, that's her fee or price. But through her expertise, her focus on your needs, her understanding of your business, the insights she provides that help you to see savings and efficiencies you hadn't been aware of she saves you six thousand dollars. She also saves you twenty-five to thirty hours of time of doing it yourself, time you can invest in your business doing things that you will be much more productive and effective at doing and she provides you with the peace of mind and security of knowing it was done correctly.
Of course it would have been easy for our accountant to have simply followed the tax compliance process. To have completed the task and been paid for it without having created the additional value we described above. What's wrong with that you might ask? We will explore this in our next post on Law#2 - The Law of Compensation.
Returning to our example, we see in this case value can be measured in financial terms, with the six thousand dollar savings, and even in time because time is money, and also in non-financial terms with the confidence and good feeling that you have, the feeling of peace of mind of knowing it was done correctly. Knowing you don't have to worry about the ATO knocking on the door and even if they do you're in good shape. You can hardly put a price on that.
So, we see that value is different from price. What your accountant did was give you much more in value than what she took in payment so you feel great about it, and she made a very healthy profit, which she should. And, that's the kind of relationship we want to have with everyone with whom we do business. We want to give them so much value that they feel terrific about the experience and we make a very healthy profit.
Money is an echo of value. It's the thunder to value's lightning."
Bob Burg & John David Mann - The Go-Giver
The way this happens is through focus, focus on providing the value. You see, money is an echo of value. It's the thunder to value's lightning. Focus on the value and the money will come. Why? Because your client or customer understands that your focus is on them, on providing value to them, on making their life better, on solving their challenge, they can sense it, they can feel it, they can see it.
When you genuinely focus on the value, your customers or clients trust you and they feel good about you and they are much more willing to exchange their money for your product or service. Focus on the money however, and they're going to sense that to, consciously or unconsciously.
They will sense it and they'll be less likely to do business with you. So, again, focus on the value, and the money will come. That's the Law of Value; your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.
For more on this law please read the following posts from our awesome guest bloggers:
- Roland Hanekroot - Value, Giving and Kindness
- Wendy Lloyd-Curly - How does the Law of Value apply to a network marketer?
- Geoff Anderson - How To Lose The Clients You Don't Want Anyway
Ian J Lowe is the CEO of Go-Givers Australia, a sales transformation, coaching and consulting organisation offering a unique culture-defining philosophy and framework that makes giving value the cornerstone of a refreshingly open and authentic approach to selling. Download the first chapter of ‘The Go-Giver and Go-Givers sell More’here.