It had been one of those long days; back-to-back meetings since early morning with no time to stop and eat. I was famished by the time I got home. I walked through the door and headed straight to the refrigerator where I desperately rummaged around for something to fill my empty growling stomach – FAST.
I found a chicken breast from the night before and piece of whole wheat flatbread, threw it together, slapped on a piece of string cheese and called it a day. As I sat on my patio wolfing down my purely need-to-avoid-dying-of-starvation snack, I noticed my potted basil plant – all bright and cheery and perky and green.. .
“Basil! Yes, basil is just what this bland sandwich needs!” So I picked a few leaves, opened up the half sandwich I had left, and placed the fragrant green leaves inside. I took a bite. Yum! My sandwich instantly went from bland to gourmet.
“Wow,” I thought, “I just increased the value of this sandwich by $10!” (Always the marketer, aren’t I?)
Really. Think about it. You see a couple of sandwich options on a menu: Sandwich One is a chicken and cheese sandwich and Sandwich Two is a chicken and cheese sandwich with freshly picked garden basil. Doesn’t the second one just sound more appetizing (and expensive)??
So then I got to thinking… what can I do in my own business to add something so simple, yet tasty and surprising to delight my clients? What little consulting gourmet goody could I offer to increase my value?
And what about my clients’ companies and all the small businesses out there? What tiny little add-on products or services could make your offering more valuable? What’s that little extra “something” that can immediately turn “blah” into “gourmet”?
The best place to go for the answer is your customers. Ask them: what do you like about working with us? What sets us apart from others in our industry you’ve worked with? What’s missing in the industry? What would you like to see all companies like us do or offer that we don’t?
This is going to give you great insight into what your fresh picked garden basil is – and if it doesn’t then start doing some brainstorming: when you’re working with clients what are they asking for? What do they need that they aren’t asking for? What can you add that will make their lives and/or jobs easier or happier? Talk to colleagues, employees, strategic partners and ask them about their experience working with companies like yours and ask what was missing, or complicated or bland… Ask, “What would make us more valuable? Or easier to work with? Or just… better?”
Then once you figure out what that is – add it. Either offer it yourself, or form a strategic alliance with someone else who can do it for you. But trust me that little extra touch of “gourmet” in our business could be the differentiator you need to take your business to the next level!
What little extra do you do in your business that sets you apart and delights customers? Please feel free to share them with us!