What does the word VALUE mean to you?


If you follow me then you know that I am currently reading the book KNOW YOUR VALUE by Mika Brzezinski. It is based on the fact that women have a tendency to under-realize their value and approach aspects of their lives underestimating their contribution, expertise, etc; and, not receiving the full reward of their contribution.  The author is realistic in the stories told by different women’s perspectives with real life, honest and sometimes embarrassing examples. It is a good read and I am enjoying it. As a woman in the business world I can definitely relate to some of the stories. It is always interesting to me that while life’s experiences are unique there is always a theme that emerges within any group that resonates and is relevant.  We can all continue to learn from one another.

While valuing a person’s contribution is important.  One has to also be able to stand up and quantify your own value.  The author really got me thinking about the word “value”. From a small business perspective customers and prospects use that word a lot; and, rarely a day goes by when someone does not say over the phone or in an email to me:

  • What is the value?

  • I am not sure of the value?

  • What type of value am I receiving?

Value can be a very emotional word. It can also take its own form and can be subjective in nature when quantified.  I would argue that it is more of a feeling than a tangible transaction or receipt when you are marketing and/or selling a product or service. Primarily, because there are no 100% guarantees. Most likely, if I am selling something I believe it to be of value.  Yet, I have to persuade you that there is value. Whether it is a product, service or a talent/personality the value has to be translated through the eyes of the buyer.

When selling VALUE here are 5 elements that I always keep in mind.

1. It has to be Very important and you have to elevate the significance of what you are selling in the mind of the buyer.  

2. There has to be a clear Advantage; and, you have to show its differentiation.

3. Can you List and itemize the benefits to make it quantifiable and show the ROI?

4. Is it effective and can you show its Usefulness?  

5. Is there an Evaluation element to measure the outcome?

Using all of the above as a guide or a reference point helps me to see the proposition I’m offering from the buyer’s perspective.  When it is from the seller perspective there is a tendency to let the closeness or the attachment of what you’re marketing/selling get in the way; and, the seller thinks of it as “priceless”.  When that happens the buyer will never see the value. 

So, don’t under-realize the value of what you are selling whether it is a product, service, or talent/personality but pitch it through the eyes of your prospective buyer; and, good luck!

Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and the Founder of the eRetailer Summit and JC Event Group. Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries. An expert in the field, Sonya has been published in numerous retail industry b-to-b publications.  Sonya shares her experiences in her book series:  Mindful Minutes, A Marketer’s Journey through Business: is now available to purchase on AMAZON.

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.  Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit.