How Do You Compare?

Dec 5, 2010, Written by Sue Miley

Finding value in the world for goods and services can be difficult.  When you compare the satisfaction of a McDonald’s hamburger to your favorite sport’s bar’s hamburger you  have many considerations:

  • does it taste good?
  • for $7 or $8 more is the taste that much better for the sport’s bar burger
  • sometimes they over cook the sport’s bar burger
  • sometimes the McDonald’s burger has a stale bun
  • I can drive thru and get the McDonald’s burger

and so on.

It’s even more difficult to measure when you have a high priced service like fixing a problem with your car.  How do you know the extra things are necessary?  Do you trust the quality of something you are technically not competent to measure?  Does one mechanic always take twice as long?

It is frustrating to know sometimes the value of the goods and services we purchase and to choose between competitors of sort of “like” products.

As a small business owner you are being compared in the same way every day.  Knowing that it is difficult for you to compare other goods and services, have you ever thought about how your’s shake out in the race?

It Happened to Me

Yesterday I received an email from someone I purchased services from almost two years ago.  It was a big sum of money for me, about $500.00.  I was pulled in by a promise to assess my website and provide real actionable enhancements that I could make along with how to really make a difference with my blogging and social media presence.

This person basically used the free Hubspot website grader to do the assessment and then spent two hours with me on the phone going over a power point he had created to explain what twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn were.  Really!

I told him at the time that he wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t already know.  Which is odd because this was when I was just starting on all of this web 2.0 stuff.

I told him I felt ripped off and couldn’t believe he was charging that kind of money for this information.  He just defended it by saying how other people don’t know about this information and how they find it very valuable.  Needless to say, I can’t believe he still has me on his mailing list.  Two years later I am still mad!  (Partly at myself.)

I have since spent much more on services for my website.  Much, much more!  And even at a higher price, felt completely satisfied that the services were totally worth it.

We Must Add Value

I think it is important to try to add value propositions wherever we can.  It is also important to find out what your customers do think?

Add value by:

  • having team be over the top friendly and service oriented when delivering goods or services.
  • make doing business with you easy i.e. easy check-out, flexible scheduling, extra parts and accessories available.
  • following-up and following through when necessary.
  • providing superior technical knowledge and information when appropriate.
  • asking customers if there is anything else you can do and meaning it!

Especially during the holiday season.  People are more cautious with their disposable income.  Make sure they choose you!

Reader Interactions


  1. David@RedLetterBelievers says

    What is the value of something? Whatever someone is willing to pay.

    But the true value is if someone would pay the same price again! You obviously thought the first price was a fair value, but would never go down that road again.

    The value I give should naturally lead to repeat business.

  2. Jon says

    Interesting, David…and true.
    Even if I am great at getting people to choose me, it is really easy to mess up the experience so that I don’t get chosen again.

    As a solopreneur, I can’t survive if every client is only a one time client. I rely heavily on happy customers that come back again. And, when I have lost repeat business, more often that not, it is not that they thought they weren’t getting their money’s worth, but that something to do with how they experienced the delivery of the value did not meet their expectations.

    It is like the great restaurant burger that just isn’t the same if you get it ‘to go’. It is not just the careful preparation and quality ingredients that make people come back, but the whole burger-eating experience.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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