So, Are You Providing More Value Than You Receive in Payment?

Robert Terson

One of my favorite individuals is Bob Burg, who is the author of a number of terrific books, including Endless Referrals, and co-author of The Go-Giver. Bob is someone you should be following— I often purchase Bob’s books for friends of mine. Not too long ago I picked up a copy of Endless Referrals for my good friend Stu Pearl.

The Go-Giver (if you haven’t read this magnificent story, treat yourself! I reviewed it on January 14, 2013) proffers Five Laws of Stratospheric Success. The first of those Laws is as follows: “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.” I believe in that concept with every fiber of my being. I live it every day of my life, and I’m writing this blog to encourage you to do the same, because I believe it’s in your best interest to do that.

I get calls from all over the world from salespeople seeking help, and the first thing I tell them is don’t concentrate on making sales; instead concentrate on figuring out how much more value you can provide your prospects/customers. If you can provide more value than you take in payment, I tell them, you’ll succeed beyond your wildest dreams, people will flock to do business with you.

I do some limited coaching and training for a few select people who want more of my time than an occasional pro bono telephone call. As soon as I made the decision to add this “work” to my retirement gig, I sat down to ponder how I could provide these individuals more value than I would take in payment. This is what I came up with: First, I would charge a reasonable fee that is the same, or lower than, people I respect doing the same kind of work–I’m retired, folks; this isn’t about money for me (that said, I’m the exception to the rule: “giving more in value than you take in payment” is not about charging less but about providing (giving) more in use value, often through separating yourself from your competition by providing such a phenomenal customer experience, etc., etc.). Second, I would provide more time than the typical session: in coaching, for example, not limiting it to an hour. I’ve had sessions with clients that have extended up to three hours. My clients are never going to hear me say, “I’m afraid we’ve run out of time; let’s save that for next time.” When I feel the circumstances require it, I’ve been known to give someone up to three or four sessions a week.

I’m not suggesting my way of providing more value than I take in payment is necessarily a methodology you should adopt; after all, I’m retired and you’re probably not, so more than likely that won’t work for you. But I am suggesting you sit down in a quiet place and do some deep thinking about how you, in your own unique business situation, can provide more value for the people you’re doing business with than you’re taking in payment.

So keep in mind that first Law of Stratospheric Success; you might even print it out and hang it in a prominent place: “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”

I’d love to hear any ideas you have re how you give more value than you take in payment.


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