Article Summary:

Add value to your product or service by offering complementary services such as free shipping, or non-complementary services such as gift cards to other businesses.

What Does Value Add Mean?

The first thing “value add” implies is a baseline value. To be successful a product or service must be of value on its own. It has to be able to stand all by itself.

In today’s competitive marketplace there may be several companies offering the same product or service with the same baseline value. This is the reason they adopt value-added benefits. Value add is additional value that your product or service has above the baseline. It’s a way of differentiating your company from the pack. If you can add value, then even if your price is a little higher, the prospect will want to buy from you. You bring more to the table.

All consumers look at purchases from a cost/benefit analysis. Does the benefit equal or outweigh the cost? Some of that is subjective. Different consumers have different definitions of benefit. Because of this, it is important to make sure that the value you are adding is considered to be beneficial by your prospects.

How do you figure this out? Follow these steps:

  1. Identify the actual baseline value of your product or service. This is the value your clients see – not necessarily the value YOU believe exists.
    a) Document the value you perceive.
    b) Ask your clients what value they see.
    c) Conduct market research to assess the general public’s view of the baseline value.
  2. Consider complementary products or services that you could add to a product you offer as a bonus.
  3. Consider non-complementary products or services that you could add.
  4. Understand your target market

Examples of complementary products or services are:

  • Free cleaning
  • Free helpdesk support
  • Free shipping
  • Free inspection
  • Free newsletter

Notice the word ‘Free.’ You are throwing something in to add value to the baseline product or service. These are items that complement the product or service you are providing.

Examples of non-complementary products or services are:

  • A Resource Toolbox – filled with information on organizations you know well that offer a variety of products and services.
  • Gift Cards – to a restaurant or store; not for redemption at your company.
  • Quarterly Seminar Series – seminars on a variety of subjects that don’t piggyback your business.

As you can see, these are valuable but do not complement a company’s product or service. So they add value of a different sort. Non-complementary adds are a bit tougher to sell. It really comes down to what the prospect deems as valuable.

Providing value added benefits can really set you apart. So do your homework. Get to know your target market – what they want and need. Get creative with adds – you really can do anything you want, as long as the prospect finds it valuable. Set up your value adds and get to marketing your product or service with the adds included. It can be a great, inexpensive way to set your company apart.

Diane Helbig is a Professional Coach and the president of Seize This Day Coaching. Diane works with salespeople, small business owners, and entrepreneurs, helping them realize success as they define it. Diane is also the Co-Founder of Seize True Success, a coaching practice dedicated to working with franchisees. Diane is a Contributing Editor on COSE Mindspring, a resource website for small business owners, as well as a member of the Sales Experts Panel at The Top Sales Experts. To learn more or schedule a complimentary discovery session, visit Seize This Day Coaching.

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