What is it about adding value that makes people think they are giving the farm away for free?
When I think about all the questions I have asked as I was setting up my business, the people who took me in hand and shared thoughts & ideas, even those who provided some tough-to-hear feedback, not only am I grateful, I think of them first when referring work to others.
See, the idea of adding value is not about the concept of 'free' but about the concept of 'sharing'. When you were younger, I am certain you were taught to share. Expecting perhaps a thank-you in return, or in fact, nothing at all because sharing was/is the right thing to do. This applies to business, leadership and life as well. As I have mentioned before, it is very difficult to live your life in separate ways, so the habits we build in our daily lives completely translate to our professional lives.
Sharing is really adding value. Here are a few ways to build this habit:
- if you see an article that applies to a client, prospect or colleague, send it along to them with a note about why you think this is an important read for them
- congratulate them on a press release or successful endeavour - it shows you are paying attention and care about their success
- take someone for coffee just because you would like to learn more about them
- share a book that taught you something
- say thank you for a specific outcome or task
- provide more detail or resources than expected in a report or proposal
It's the little things that make a difference. Adding value does not need to be in huge heaps - being consistent will make this a habit and you will become known for stepping up and out in creative ways that draw people to you.