Give Value First

Give Value FirstCustomers. We don’t make them customers. They are that way themselves. We don’t make them buy. They do that on their own. They buy:

  • Solutions to their problems
  • Improvements to reach their goals
  • Experiences they want to experience

We think we’re selling them. We’re not. The best we can do is help customers buy. Everything else is self-delusion.


Before they’re customers, they are prospects.

They evolve from prospects into customers. They move from obliviousness to awareness to motivated buying.

They’re going to buy anyway, why not buy ours?


Prospects and customers are self-serving.

They buy ours for their reasons, to get what they want.

We can help them do that. Here’s how:

1) Give

Give to engage prospects and customers.

Give to help them move to the next step in buying. Moving from:

  • Obliviousness: Do I have a problem? -to-
  • Awareness: I have a problem. Do I want to fix it now? -to-
  • Motivated: Now I’m going to solve my problem. Who can help?

Give to move them to the next step. They can’t leap frog. They can only go one step at a time. They buy when they’re motivated.

Give as often as needed to help them buy ours.

Give often means free. But not always.

2) Value

Customers want what they want. They must truly want what we’re giving. Or they won’t take it.

If they don’t take it, we’re not part of their process, and ours won’t be bought.

Give value that helps them move from “Do I have a problem? -to- Do I want to fix it now? -to- Who can help?”

3) First

To receive, first give. Before prospects and customers give us what we want, we must give first.

Counterintuitive and scary.

They may take and not give us what we want. True. Some prospects and customers will, but we weren’t going to be doing business with them anyway.

What if we give away the farm and have nothing left when they’re ready to buy?

Value given must be relative to value received. Not always one-to-one, but close. Give valued information of limited scope, and in return get an appointment, email permission, or whatever helps move customers closer to buying ours.

What do your customers want – that you can give – that moves them closer to buying?

Chris Arlen

President, Service Performance

Technorati: buying, marketing, selling

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