April 28

Money For Something


value exchange tileValue exchange. We all use the term, nod sagely whenever anyone introduces the concept into conversation – ‘the long term benefits of the inherent value exchange between X and Y can’t be underestimated’ – but how many of us understand just what it actually means? Or, for that matter, just how much value (pardon the pun) it actually adds to everyday business relationships and future success?

At its heart, a value exchange is of course a very simple process; it is, by definition, a transfer of goods and/or services from a company to its customers, with the customer in return paying for said goods or services; where the ‘but wait, there’s more’ comes in, is that its ‘value’ lies in the need it fulfils, rather than its actual physical properties. Sound complicated? Not really.

A value exchange gives both parties the chance to bring something more to the transaction than just a product. Say you are selling a pair of shoes. The value exchange is not just about the leather and rubber used to manufacture the product; it’s about the media campaign designed to catch the eye of the consumer when they are flicking through a magazine. It’s about making the consumer know that they will look and feel better if they have that particular pair of shoes on their feet. It’s about follow-up customer service when that particular pair of shoes has been ordered online, to see if the consumer is happy with their purchase. That is a value exchange; because the consumer receives something more than just a ‘product’, and in return, the business receives inestimable goodwill – and future sales.

In the same way, working collaboratively with other entrepreneurs, or corporate leaders, can be its own form of value exchange with immeasurable market potential, as long as all parties are willing to be open in their engagement.

Person X may have expertise in a certain area, but be falling down badly in another. They know that Person Y has the skills and knowledge base they need for a successful new product launch, or company growth – and not in any way be in competition with them – but X has been too inward looking and wary to admit they need help, or fearful of being judged as weak. If they think of opening up to Y as a value exchange, offering their own skillsets in another area as an attraction, rather than seeing their ‘lack’ as a weakness, the potential for collaborative business, and growth for both businesses, is enormous.

This takes trust, and faith, and the ability to turn outwards rather than always facing in – trusting others rather than just oneself. But think about it. The value exchange is not just financial. It is emotional too. You invest emotionally in your customers’ happiness every time you make sure that they receive the very best product you are able to produce. You are willing to give your customers 100%, why shouldn’t you give your business that same amount of energy and attention?

Shouldn’t you give the same value to your internal market that you give to your external one?

janine sig




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