(This post was initially published as a LinkedIn Pulse article.)

Most anyone reading this is going to be familiar, at least in some abstract way, with the concept of “value.” The concept of value, or utility derived from content, products, or other offerings, is not unique to Internet Marketing. Those working across a variety of markets, both online and offline, have to be keenly aware of the ways in which their value is perceived by customers. That’s why its worth reviewing the importance of balancing your ‘give and take’, and a few ways in which you can maintain that balance when working with clients.

You’re “give” will be offered as a “freebie” serving as a “lead magnet” in exchange for contact information.  The most basic of that information is their email address.

The Why

Basic economics courses teach students that most people make their
purchasing decisions based on a concept called ‘utility cost’; whenever
someone is deciding whether or not to purchase an item or make a trade,
they weigh whether the utility of what they will receive is greater than
the utility of what they already have. Most commonly, this is the often
quick and (nearly) subconscious assessment you would make as to whether
an item is “too expensive” or seems like a “good deal.”

In marketing, your customers make these decisions several times
throughout your sales funnel (assuming you have a sales funnel, ranging from your freebie, your low cost item, and your premium product, service, membership, etc.):

– Is the freebie being offered by an individual or entity worth more to me than the potential loss of “privacy” from having provided an email address to receive future communications from that individual or entity?

– Is the information this person or entity posts on their site helpful enough
to me that it’s worth taking ten minutes out of my day to read?

– Do I trust this person enough to take their recommendation that
what they’re offering is worth my hard-earned money?

For many marketers, the second and third bullet points are where they
lose people.

The Mindset Swap

Even though your end goal may be to make as much money as possible, your
customer always wants to feel like they’ve “won.” In most instances, this means feeling like they’ve gotten the promise of greater future value from a product, tool, training/coaching course, membership than what they paid for it. However, there is another crucial evaluation that happens long before they’ll ever get close to purchasing, and that’s value-based-trust.

Marketers should seriously consider practicing a mindset swap, which involves taking the focus off of their bottom line and simply becoming a customer. Read every offer you’ve got, every promotional email, every review, and ask yourself, does this feel valuable? You are not smarter than your customers; if you know deep down that something you’re offering feels like a half-solution or copout, they’ll pick up on it as well.

Most marketers, both experienced and novice, have a sales funnel riddled
with these holes where offers feel like they’re doing more for the seller than the (potential) buyer. Remember, when perceived utility of an offer is viewed as a loss, people aren’t going to bite.

Actually Over-Deliver

Many of these low-value gaps occur because marketers are afraid of giving away ‘the whole solution,’ system, or secret (i.e. colloquially called, giving away the farm). Why then would someone make a purchase if they feel they’ve already
been given the solution to their problems? It is a tricky balance, but too many err on the wrong side of the scale and come across as withholding value from their customers.

It shouldn’t be surprising that customers are often more likely to purchase after they have already had success with your methods and recommendations, and you offer them up a paid product that complements that success, rather than offering them a tiny piece of the puzzle with what they need to see any positive results, and putting them in a position of depending on you for another piece of the puzzle.

Which scenario do you think is more likely to foster an ongoing, positive relationship with a new customer? An email opt-in freebie that gives visitors a complete system to make $1,000 per month, which you then upsell to a different version with larger earning potential later on, or just offering them the first page of the main system right off the bat, which essentially renders it useless to them and gives them nothing they can act on immediately?

The former has a high chance of resulting in a lifelong customer, the latter might just tick someone off and see them opting out of your email.

The point? Give before you ever take (i.e. before you ask to give back), empathize, walk in the customer’s shoes, and always over-deliver.

Of course ultimately to make sales after you’ve delivered value, your
product needs to have a solid hook.

People are more likely to be drawn in by a story rather than facts and figures. If you feel you still haven’t developed the perfect HOOK for your product, service, or cause, then you may need a storytelling approach.

As an example, you can learn how a dead-broke stand-up comic turned a simple joke-telling formula into a sales hook and how you can use it to get buy in from your customers, clients, or constituents.

To Check out the 60 Second Sales Hook, click the link HERE now:

Thank you. If you found value in this post, please share it with others.

Roberto Ragone

Business, Nonprofit, Arts Consultant
Actor, Writer, Producer

Ragone Enterprises and Productions
Ragone Strategies and Initiatives

Transforming Vision to Value

Roberto Ragone has over 25 years experience in government, nonprofits, and business, working with them on strategic planning, marketing and public relations, fundraising, and outreach. He has also worked on literary, film, and theatre projects.

One of his guiding principles is a determination to help you attract popularity, prosperity, and prestige — fans, friends, funds, and fame. He helps define and disseminate the uniquely compelling story about you, transforming your vision to value so you “REaP” the benefits of your hard work.