And how do you uncover them?

Are there things you do as part of your product or service which are of real value to your customers that you perhaps you, or your customers, don't realise? Many small businesses have these hidden nuggets which can add genuine profits to their business.

I'm talking about usually intangible things that perhaps you do almost automatically, that either enhance your offering or even without which you couldn't deliver.

Let me illustrate with some examples:

  • The structural landscaper who designs and installs rock walls, retaining walls, paths, garden features, paving etc. There is value in the design.

  • The supplier of industrial products who undertakes an audit of a potential customers operations before quoting. The audit can uncover serious problems that need fixing.

  • Suppliers who offer training as part of their package. Without the training the full benefit of the product or service won't be realised.

  • The professional conference organiser who offers a risk assessment to the steering committee as part of the package. The conference committee may not know what could undo their efforts.

Why are these hidden nuggets and how do you uncover the value?
Their hidden value lies in the fact that these services have real worth. Frequently without them the job could not be done properly, leaving a less than satisfied customer. And they offer a point of difference from those of your competitors who can't provide such a service.
So you need to unbundle them from your offering. By that I mean whenever you submit a quotation or proposal separately identify and list the service provided.

And place a value on it. There's no value in free. Whether you then charge the value in your overall price is a separate question. The customer needs to see and recognise the value.

Now you have some options:
  1. Offer the service as a bonus to add value to your product or service to increase the likelihood of the sale;
  2. Charge the service to increase your profits from the sale;
  3. Introduce it as new product which can be sold separately. More sales, and it will enhance the value when offered in the first two options;
  4. Use it to wedge the entrenched competition; get your competitor fired without openly putting them down.
Until you uncover the nuggets in your offerings they will go unrecognised by your customer and their value will never be realised.

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© Copyright 2010 Adam Gordon, Profits Leak Detective

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