I read an article last week in which Jeffrey Cashdan, a partner at King & Spalding, who represents Coca-Cola, is quoted as saying he had banned all [Coca-Cola] competitor drinks from his home.
Think about that for a second…
…banned all competitor drinks from his home!
That’s a hell of a range. And a hell of a commitment, especially if you have children under the age of 20 running around!
So I started to think:- how many of the products in my home belong to my clients?
And I was pleasantly surprised by the answer – a fair few.
But I was also surprised how many competitor brands were in the house.
So I got to thinking, if we expect loyalty from our clients (whether that’s expertise or brand), how many of us out there are willing to go as far as Jeffrey Cashdan, who would appear to walk the walk when he says:
“I’m all-in for my client,”
One of the biggest challenges we face in any professional services organisation is both an understanding of, and an ability to communicate, the value of the service we provide.
To some, “value”…
“…is the difference between a prospective customer’s evaluation of the benefits and costs of one product when compared with others. Value may also be expressed as a straightforward relationship between perceived benefits and perceived costs: Value = Benefits / Cost.”
To others, “value”…
“…is like beauty; it’s in the eye of the beholder (the payer)…it’s not measured by internal costs or profit levels.”
To my mind though, one of the nicest pieces written about the challenges humans face in understanding the value they provide comes from the Japanese artist Mariya Suzuki, who wrote recently:
“I wasn’t very aware of the value of my work until a short while ago. If you asked me about it I would just have said “it’s just a drawing” but now I realise that to get to make that drawing I have invested many years and practice. It wasn’t until people told me not to give everything away for free.
Today, in my starting career as an illustrator, I try to value my work much more.”
Trying to “value my work much more” – getting a better understanding of the overall value my product or service brings to the equation – seems like a good starting point to me.