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Manager's Corner: Are You Valuable or Valued?

Manager's Corner
Are You Valuable or Valued?

We've heard over and over "Add value for your customers!" But what does that mean?
According to Webster's Dictionary, VALUE means "Monetary or material worth". Therefore, "Add value for your customers" must mean we have to add some thing (product, service, or other benefit) that adds tangible monetary or material gain for our customers. How do we do that? We need to find out what is valuable--and not merely valued--by our customers.
There's a big difference between providing something that is valuable and something that is valued. Again, according to Webster's Dictionary, VALUABLE means "1. Of high monetary or material value 2. Of great importance, utility, or service". VALUED, on the other hand, means "Highly esteemed". Both terms are impressive. However valuable products, services, and information are what keep customers coming back to you time and again. Valuable items create some type of monetary or material gain for your customers; whereas, a "valued" item is appreciated by your customers, but may not be important enough to them to pay for it. That's the distinction. Do you want to get paid for what you add or do you just want to be appreciated?
To determine how valuable your products, services, and information are to your customers, ask them. What elements of your service do they find valuable? What aspects make their jobs easier, less time-consuming, or more profitable? What would make their jobs even easier, less time-consuming, or more profitable? What do you provide they like, but don't really need? What do they find wasteful or unnecessary? How does the value of your products or services compare to others?
Ask your customers for the answers. They'll tell you. Then you'll know how to add value, because you'll know what is valuable.

Liz Weber of Weber Business Services, LLC. WBS specializes in Strategic, Business, and Succession Planning, as well as employee and leadership training. Liz can be reached at mail to: or (717) 597-8890

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