Tag Archives: services

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service value

Service Value Is Always Determined By The Customer

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What is your product or service worth? Service value is not easily defined by the provider, no matter how hard you try.

When you live in a urban area and someone offers you a free lawnmower, or a goat, it probably is not of much value. The same may be true for gasoline engine powered hedge trimmers, a weed whacker, or a rototiller.

None of it really matters, it may be deemed not useful or of very little value.

The same may be true about two plane tickets to Montana via the Dawson Community Airport.

It is true about certain foods, books, or other resources. If there is no connection, there really is no value.

Free sauerkraut and hot dogs do not interest me. Yet, it may interest someone.

A twenty-year-old car in great condition may not seem to be worth much, but replacing it is expensive.

This concept is critically important as you face the challenge of serving your customers. What you offer isn’t always what is viewed as attractive or valuable.

Service Value

The trick for anything or everything depends on its perceived value.

Who would have ever thought that there would be a toilet paper crisis?

American Pickers look for rusty gold. Many people see nothing but junk.

The real opportunity is for the business to see everything through the lens of the customer and not through the lens of the innovator. Sometimes, yes, it could be appropriate for both. Yet, more often it is weighted in favor of the customer view.

An invention with no use is really just a floppy disk.

Or perhaps, a boiled egg squarer.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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world of mouth

World Of Mouth, Is It Working For You?

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Many business leaders will share with you that the face of business is changing. They may not be able to put their finger on which direction, but they recognize a shift. It is the age of a service and connection economy which leads to World of mouth.

How are you navigating?

The CEO needs a plan. So does the employee. Learning how to navigate a connection economy is likely not found in books or other resources produced prior to 2005. Perhaps prior to 2010 or 2015.

Working For You

How does marketing and advertising work? The best marketers are building a connection.

How do you get more sales in an overwhelmed digital world? The strongest sales growth comes through connections.

So many people claim to be suffering from information overload. Many regress to making fewer decisions based on their own research and instead lazily rely on their network.

This is true for the retailer, the E-comm, and nearly every business sector. It is also true for who gets hired or promoted. It is a connection economy and connections matter.

This is precisely why commodity products compete only for price. They are available everywhere and without any additional value. Their supplemental value is perhaps only in the convenience and ease of the (service) purchase and delivery.

Commodity products are tough. Amazon, eBay, and the carriers (UPS, FedEx, etc.) are winning. Good for them.

Average, similar, mainstream, and available anywhere means getting selected is tough. True for the job you just applied for, and true for the products or services your organization provides.

World Of Mouth

The great equalizer comes through the connection economy. Average sells when it is recommended by a friend. Similar works if a friend has tried it. Mainstream can be trendy if everyone in your community is on board.

Consider that the question may become, “What is it about what you are offering that makes it special enough to become a discussion item?”

Word of mouth is powerful. World of mouth is mind blowing. Connections drive both.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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commodity services

Commodity Services And The Race To The Bottom

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Everyone wants a good price. In fact, everyone wants the best price. It is seldom that someone wants to spend more than their neighbor or competition for a similar product or service. Have you ever felt like commodity services are really a race to the bottom?

Price Strategy

Many selling efforts consider the basic economics of price. Sell more at a lower price and we’ll get more money. Sometimes this may make sense.

Selling services has some differences when compared with selling raw materials or products. The value of the product is in the spec. Anything meeting spec may only come down to one thing, price.

Services have some differences. Businesses that treat services like raw materials or products, pushing vendors for the lowest price as compared to spec, may get less than they expected.

Race to the Bottom

When you are selling a service that is based purely on spec you may be selling commodity services. Yet your value will be judged on the expected quality.

It will need to meet spec which includes quality, but the quality of a service subjective.

This is even true for most jobs. When you negotiate a salary, it typically starts with spec. Ultimately though you will not only be evaluated compared with spec but your performance will be compared with price.

One of the challenges for the service provider is to apply enough margin to consistently exceed expectations.

While everyone is racing to the lowest price and trying to sell more, the intuitive path seems to include cutting operating costs to keep margins. Service quality often declines. Promises are broken.

Commodity Services

One trouble spot with services is that they often aren’t remembered for price. They are remembered for the feeling after the service.

The best lawyers, surgeons, and accountants may have to meet spec, but spec isn’t that relative to price. The service promise and the resulting expectations have more relevance.

If you were in trouble legally, would you hire the cheapest attorney? The spec may be, have the credentials to practice law. The promise is to keep you out of jail.

Here is a promise. The cheapest service may meet spec, but it will often be remembered as an inferior product.

A race to the bottom.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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all in sales appreciative strategies

This Is Why We Are All In Sales

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Professionally holding a position in sales is an admirable career. However, many people suggest that the sales role is not for them. They might scoff at the idea of a position in sales, yet they are often envious of the paycheck. Are we all in sales?

Nearly thirty years ago, I held a position in information technology. I wrote code, fixed program bugs, and served as an expert with voice and data communications. That was a long time ago. Although it might not seem apparent, I was also in sales.

Not formally perhaps, but I had to sell my ideas, sell software enhancements and sell hardware upgrades. The type of business I worked for was known as a mail order company. Today it might be a dot com and as such, selling was important.

Commission, not salary, compensated formal sales positions and it was challenging but often rewarding work.

Perceptions of Job Roles

I can still recall a conversation with one of the top salespersons who challenged me one day in the hallway. He approached me about some problem or difficulty he was having and we had a very mild difference of opinion. As our short conversation was winding down he said, “Why am I asking you. You don’t know anything about sales.”

It wasn’t intended to be polite. The intention was a direct hit. The concept was to knock me down, push me back, and insult me professionally. It didn’t work.

My simple response was, “I sell every day.”  He came back with, “Yeah, how?”

We Are All In Sales

Recently I had convinced the board of investors to make this business unit the data center for the six other business units they operated. Just a few days earlier, they had announced this change at an all company meeting.

The investment in computer hardware upgrades exceeded $400k and the opportunity that this brought to our location was huge.

Therefore, my response was, “Well, I just sold a $400,000 computer system to our investors.”

Unsure of what to say next, my assailant just huffed and walked away.

Most of us are in sales, not always formally, often informally. We still sell ourselves, sell our ideas, and sometimes actually sell products or services.

Do you think we’re all in sales?

What are you selling?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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