The idea of service value has been on my mind a lot recently.

Value.  It is what we all preach to our clients.  Choose us because we offer the most value.  Give us the partnership because we bring the most value to the table.  Use our tools because they save you time and give you added value.

We live in a value based world.

But this value thing is too often approached selfishly.  We bring what we perceive as value to the table.  Tools are valuable because we want them to be, but do we think about the learning curve that clients don’t want to have to deal with?  Unique solutions are valuable because they offer a unique alignment with what the client needs, but do we think about the time it takes that client to pitch a new solution to her management?

Value is selfish on our part.  We want so badly to be valuable because then what we are doing is more than just a job.  If we bring more value than someone else then we must be worth more (as employees and businesses).  But that isn’t always true.  From a client’s perspective value is what makes their life easier – it’s something selfish to them.

This brings about the idea of selfishness.  If value is selfish to our clients why aren’t we becoming selfless in response?  Because it isn’t possible.  Our solutions and processes must be built around the general case which means they can never be completely self-serving to a client.  We will always struggle to deliver exactly what a client wants (especially because what most clients want and need is different).

This leaves Marketing’s value gap.  We will never be able to give a client exactly what they selfishly want so do we try to come as close as possible or try to educate them to want our value proposition.  Most of us go for education…..but is that the right solution?