A Bottle of Water or a Handful of Diamonds?
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A Bottle of Water or a Handful of Diamonds?

A Bottle of Water or a Handful of Diamonds?

A Bottle of Water or a Handful of Diamonds?

You’re lost in the desert – for days. Who knows how many?  The temperature is soaring, the hot sun unrelenting, the sand choking.  You have no food or water.  Onward you walk, unsure if you might be just going in circles.  Your throat is so parched that you’re not sure you could make a sound, even if there was anyone to talk to.

Just then, on the horizon, you barely make out the image of a figure walking toward you.  Could it really be – or is it just an illusion – only a mirage?  Has despair and waning hope taken over your consciousness and caused hallucinations?  No – the closer you get, the more real the figure becomes!

As you stagger toward him, you notice he has both hands outstretched.  He offers you a diabolical choice.  In his left hand, a bottle of chilled spring water (99 cents at your local 7/11).  In his right, a handful of precious diamonds (about $1 million at Tiffany’s).  You could sure use the money… but which is more valuable to you right now?  You choose survival and eagerly reach for the 99-cent water.

Right now, in your desperate and dehydrated state, that 20-ounce bottle of ice-cold water has much higher “relevant value” to you than do those diamonds.  The actual monetary value has very little bearing on your choice; it’s just not relevant right now.

Relevant value is determined by your immediate circumstances, wants and needs. It is also an important concept in satisfying clients. Relevant value is entirely driven by client expectations.  Prioritizing each client’s corporate expectations is the only way to define relevant value for that client.  Committing to a disciplined process of doing so avoids the all too common pitfall of believing that we automatically know what’s best for our clients.  After all, we’re the experts — right?

All of us have seen service providers who are really adept at working on the wrong things.  Many of us have witnessed firms so enamored of their own ability to produce a unique technology; they’ve lost sight of the actual needs of the end user.  Don’t be that firm. Embrace the tools and the culture that force you to be truly client-centric.

If you can define and prioritize the elements of Relevant Value for each client, without singularly focusing on the “features” of what you can provide in your service offering, you’re well ahead of most of the competitors you might otherwise be worried about.

“Expect your clients to have expectations you didn’t expect they would have” (Tenacity Client Retention Commandment #3)

Steve & John