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The "add value first" approach

Anything related to matters of the mind

Sweaty Startup

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Dec 12, 2018
Athens GA
Business is all about momentum in the early days and if you can get in the mindset to "add value first" to gain your following and build your brand you will be a lot better off.

Sacrifice profits in the near term by discounting your service or products with the goal of gaining a following and securing value later.

In "offline" industries you see self storage facilities give the first month free. You see subscriptions like Netflix give away a free trial period. You might see a home services company give away a free service at first in the hopes of gaining a long term client.

I have a friend who owns a wealth management company. He makes his living by advising really rich people on how to avoid taxes and manage their assets/companies. He goes into every sales meeting with prospective clients with the goal to give away as much information and add as much value as humanly possible. All the advice he would usually charge for he gives away off the bat. I asked him one day if he ever worries about people taking notes and going to their accountant and doing it all themselves.

He said sure that is a risk but what ends up happening is that I differentiate myself from my competitors and gain instant trust with the potential client. Most of the time we bring on the client on the spot and if not they usually come back six months later when they need more advice and we start our relationship then.

This can be applicable to so many industries. Amazon is still playing the long game and adding value while sacrificing profits.

There is always that fear, especially in small young companies, that you really have to capitalize on each early sale to validate your model or feed your family. So you try milking everything out of the client or customer up front. You can differentiate yourself by thinking differently here.

Delayed gratification is the key to success. The marshmallow test. Amazon still hasn't eaten the marshmallow.
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Tom Mercer

New Contributor
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Dec 10, 2018
Yes I totally agree, i'm a massive believer in education and creating a community spirit. Giving away some information helps to build trust and confidence. It also shows that you really care about their business rather than just trying to make some money from them.

It may not lead to an immediate sale but you will be top of their list when they do decide to buy that particular product or service.

Andy Black

Help people. Get paid. Help more people.
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May 20, 2014
Yep. Even if they don’t hire you, they know you know your stuff and you’re now positioned in their mind as the goto guy for your service. I’ve had people send referrals years after meeting them for a “quick chat over a coffee”.


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Dec 7, 2012

tough initially to adopt such a mentality when ur poor and got bills to pay though.
its all a test.
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Read Fastlane!
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Oct 17, 2018
I do agree as well, that's what will make distinguish yourself from competition.
And, even if you will loose some customers some times, some will finally come back to you after a disappointing experience with competition.
I often just contact again prospects, who did not approved a proposal, to know how they are/how there business is progressing, some actualling come back and request services as they were stagnating or remembered that I was not the cheapest but actually the most transparent one.
When working on a proposal for web design, I do not sell a website, but a sales tool that fit in the customer's objectives.

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