How to Make an Offer that Informs Your Clients

Do you have a business that informs; provides reliable and trusted information?

What is It?

A business must provide reliable information.  If your information is wrong or deceives, you risk losing trust.  In these days of social media, you cannot guarantee an undamaged reputation.

Distinguish between information and opinion.  Context does not change information.  Advances in research occasionally supersede something we thought true.  We can cite sources so clients can check facts.

Opinions vary with context.  We may believe some group of people wrong, while others believe them.  You can never prove political beliefs, for example.

Value to the Customer

Information is valuable to customers in two ways : recreation and utility.

Sometimes a particular topic interests a client.  Even though they do not use the information for business purposes, they find it helps them grow as human beings.

Utility is where information has short or long-term business use.  It helps us advance in the business world and may be paid for by the customer or their employer.  There are three basic approaches:

  • With the Done-for-You approach, the client needs a job completed and takes interested only in the information they need to specify the job and take care of whatever remains necessary once the job is complete.
  • Do-it-Yourself means the client needs all the information to complete the task.  This implies not only factual knowledge but also experience and understanding of the skill.  There is a distinction between those who learn something for their own use and those who sell a new skill to others.
  • Between these extremes there is Done-With-You, where the expert works with the novice, assisting them sometimes with a view to the novice in time becoming an expert.  This can become a species of teamwork, where DWY persists because the results are better.

How to Get There

What information does your customer need or want?  Too little information and the customer may feel short-changed.  It’s not only about operating instructions, you may find there is other information they appreciate, perhaps about other user’s experiences.  A blog may be a good way to explore other dimensions of the work.

Too much information and the customer may become bored or impatient.

Your Offer

Turn this element of value to your advantage by being clear about the information on offer and how to access it.  Offer guidelines so people can find the degree of information they seek.  Offer more information to those who express interest.

This is the thirty-first of 31 posts about elements of value.  Make sure you don’t miss any by signing up for the offer below.  The posts in this sequence can be accessed below:

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About the Author

I've been a community development worker since the early 1980s in Tyneside, Teesside and South Yorkshire. I've also worked nationally for the Methodist Church for eight years supporting community projects through the church's grants programme. These days I am developing an online community development practice combining non-directive consultancy, strategic management, participatory methods and development work online and offline. If you're interested contact me for a free consultation.

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