By Matthew Spooner
“First, give a little food, then cast your net to capture more fish.”
These were the words my Indian friend Vinay shared with me over lunch. Over the past 5 years, Vinay has been researching the psychology behind consumption in the luxury industry. By appealing to others first by offering something of value to them as ‘bait’, you draw them in. Then, cast your net to capture potential clients. The key is to offer something of value as bait.
The question is what bait should we offer?
Focus on a value-added service or products directed towards meeting a pain-point of your potential or current customers. Identifying possible bait is the first step. The next step is assessing the intangible versus tangible value of this bait for the other party and yourself.
Recently I was given bait in the form of a golden zipper and black shoelaces. After the zipper of my suit pants broke, I took them into a small dry cleaner shop. Not only did they fix my zipper for free, but also they used a higher quality zipper that cost them only 10 Chinese Yuan (or $1.60). For me though, the intangible value was much greater. Wearing pants with a broken zipper is a social faux pas. I absolutely had to get a new zipper. For me, the intangible value was greater than 10 Chinese Yuan.
On the same day, I went to a shoe tailor to pick up a pair of shoes I had repaired. True, I had previously purchased 2 pairs of shoes at the shop within the past year. At the same time, the shop owner fixed my shoes for free and threw in an extra pair of black shoelaces.
The zipper and shoelaces both had an inherently higher intangible value to me as a buyer. In contrast, they had a lower tangible value to the sellers. More importantly, I left the shops feeling happy and satisfied.
This presents a winning formula for building trust with our potential clients.
Value Check Survey
1. Identify an item or service to offer for free to a potential customer.
2. Assess the Intangible Value of this item or service for your customer.
3. Determine the Tangible Value for you as the seller.
4. Ensure the Intangible Value for them outweighs the Tangible Value for you
What can we learn from performing a Value Check Survey?
When choosing products or services to give for free to potential or current customers, the Intangible Value gained by our target customers must be higher than the Tangible value of the product or service we are giving up in exchange for free.
Focus on becoming your customers’ problem-solver and friend: Offering bait will attract fish. With fish in your sights, then you can proceed to cast your net.
How can we cast our net? That’s another blog entry…
Co-founder and Managing Director, Crescendo Communications Consulting