For some, Thanksgiving is the time of the year that you offer thanks. We count our blessings and show thanks for our personal well-being, our family, our ability to work, conduct business and have a place to call home. It is natural that we act toward fulfilling and or acquiring our “basic needs” of food, water, clothing and shelter. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs offers great insight to this topic. What drives us to fulfill and attain the same in our business? How can we get there from here? How can having, sharing and adding value diversify and expand profits. As business professionals, we are all at different stages of life as well as different stages of development or expansion of our business. With that in mind and Maslow’s Hierarchy, I am assuming you have achieved the lower levels of Maslow’s pyramid and you are working on moving toward the top. NO matter where you are, the goal is moving up. For the sake of a short blog post, we will begin at esteem and working toward self-actualization.

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Dr. Steven Stosny talks about “How much do you value yourself” on his blog at PsychologyToday.com. Stosny (2014) suggests that self-esteem, as defined by standard measures, is a function of how we feel about ourselves—based mostly on comparison to others. It often has a hierarchical bias—we are better than some, but not as good as others. Furthermore, Self-value is more behavioral than emotional, more about how you act toward what you value, including yourself, than how you feel about yourself compared to others (Stosny, 2014). Valuing your business or trade goes beyond its importance in life. Investing time, energy, effort, and sacrifice while you support and sustain its development is important. However, it is not just about you. According to Stosny (2014), when we value others, we value ourselves more—we elevate our sense of well-being and facilitate our health, growth, and development. When we devalue someone else, we devalue ourselves—our sense of well-being deteriorates, we violate our basic humanity to some degree, and become more narrow and rigid in perspective, all of which impair growth and development (Stosny, 2014). He explains that valuing others allows our self-value to soar, which can lead to social and monetary rewards. Having and sharing value inspires collaboration and business.

 

Kathleen Steffey lists “10 ways that you can add value to your product or service” in her blog at SocialMediaToday.com. According to Steffey (2011), the concept of value-added selling has been a popular for a number of years and in today’s market place where so many products and services are viewed as a commodity, the ability to add value to your product or service is an absolute necessity. She suggests that in the absence of value-added components…any product or service can be driven down to the most bottom line – price. Furthermore, when you are only selling price you’ll never be able to sell any degree of high margin sales and that is where profitability, long term growth and sales success resides (Steffey, 2011).

Steffey (2011) argues that no matter what you sell and how different you feel your product or service is everything can have value-added. Here are a few of her points.

  • Provide expert advice and a high level of professionalism. As a professional, you need to provide a level of advice that is significantly higher, more sophisticated and a lot more valuable than that of your competition. What this means is a higher level of sophistication, wisdom and understanding about what it is that you do.
  • Bundling and Packaging. Put together desirable packages, purchasing levels and a series of added benefits that are significant in value and are, themselves, a whole lot more valuable than simply the product is by itself.
  • Service levels. Differentiate yourself by adding different levels of service based upon someone’s size, frequency or amount of purchase. You may want to have gold, platinum or silver levels of service that clients qualify for, are willing to pay for, and receive when they do business with you.

Again, these are some of her points and they are directed toward sales professionals. More are on her blog. Steffey (2011) claims that it requires creativity, innovation and a willingness to out-work your competition, but the sad truth is that if you continue to sell the way you always have, price will continue to rule and not you.

Having, sharing and adding value can diversify and grow profits. As business professionals, we may be at different stages of life and business. It is also true that we may be lacking some key knowledge about our product or service. It is an absolute necessity to add value to your product or service! It is extremely important to provide a level of advice sophistication, wisdom and understanding about what you do. It is important to share what you do with others. It is important to value others as well as value others who do what you do! When we learn to value others, we elevate our sense of well-being facilitating our health, growth, and development. Valuing others allows our self-value to soar! Where and how do you get started? Talk with other professionals and network. ILEA can help you soar! Have, share and add value by joining an organization like ILEA. Inquire on this website or visit the main ILEAhub today. #myilea, #ileasa