Step seven helps you articulate real valueĆ³and establish clients for a lifetime.

Understanding the concept of real value is a great way to end the climb up the Value Ladder. Our seventh and final question, "Why Should I Do Business With You?" will help you understand the real value you provide to clients.

Let's begin with the question, how is value, as used in your UVP, different from values as discussed in our previous column [May 2003] on differentiation? First, here are some simple definitions:

Value-The key word in the middle of your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is defined as how well your solutions allow you to achieve your clients' goals. Remember, it's the proposition of what you do uniquely well. In essence, real value tells someone, "Here's what I could do for you." Real value implies a professional attitude, and that, yes, you are unique.

Values-Values are qualitative, emotional connectors. They are your standards, your code of ethics. Values are what people should expect when working with you.

Value Vs. "Real" Value

Why do we put the word "real" in front of the word value? Because it makes it come alive, that's why. The word "real" implies deep meaning. It is complete totality. Here's a simple, generic example:

Take a look at a felt-tip marker. Remove the cap. The cap is a feature. The benefit is that the cap helps keep the marker from drying out. What's the "real" value, though? Well, if it doesn't dry up, then it lasts longer and you won't have to buy another one so quickly. It will keep your costs down and save you money. Immediately, the benefit extends into something significant to you. The deeper you can extend the benefit, the greater the value, which then becomes real value.

There is a subtle difference between the words value and real value, but the difference is extremely significant. Again, the real value is the actual application to the real world. It's not your claim of value or something implied. Real value is the benefit your unique value could provide to the prospect with whom you are talking. Ask your prospect, "How will you measure my success?" Their response will say a lot about their thought process. You need to know their answers to assess the ways in which they judge you. How can you exceed the prospect's expectations if you don't know what they are?

Ask yourself these questions:

What is the real value they are seeking?

What is it about my UVP that caught their attention?

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