Assessing Value

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A client of ours recently asked us to help his company increase sales revenue. “Our sales are okay, but not what we need them to be, " he said. “I just have to believe we could be closing more business. Once we get in the door, the sales process goes very well. It's getting in that's the problem. "

What else is new?

Many companies have the goal of sustaining existence by selling what they make. Great companies focus on delivering unique value - even before a single product or service is purchased. It's an old saw that is still ignored by far too many businesses.

Our client's problem is simple: His company fails to communicate unique value to the target market.


Communication is the lifeblood of every business. It carries unique value - the key nutrient that feeds all relationships. When the flow of value is obstructed, a variety of symptoms manifest, including:

  • Slow sales
  • Customer dissatisfaction
  • High employee turnover
  • Poor product quality
Assessing the flow of communication is one of the most important business diagnostics tools available to you. One method of assessing that flow is by analyzing the value delivered to key stakeholders.

In our client's case, a business communications assessment of marketing collateral revealed that the language the company used to talk about its value and the customer's perception of the company's value did not match up. Unique value in this case was obscured by heavy language: Jargon, thick wording, and phrasing designed to sound good rather than convey information.

The material put people off. Because it was so difficult to understand, there was no value flow. When value doesn't flow outward from a business, value (money) doesn't flow in. Relationships stagnate.

Nobody wins.

The Flow of Value

Value flow is always bidirectional in relationships. Otherwise all you're doing is broadcasting. Restrictions in the flow of value cause poor business health. Many a business has closed its doors because value flow stopped.

As you watch the flow of value in your business, think about the relationship between what your organization gives and what it receives. Turn that relationship around and study your customers until you are as clear about what value means for them as you are about what it means for you.

When you learn to perceive your unique value from the customer's perspective, your communication into the marketplace reflects that perception. Your business cannot help but be healthier as a result.

Michael Knowles, co-author of The Entrepreneur's Concept Assessment Toolbook (available at or helps businesses take what they do best and focus it on success. A Principal in One Straight Line LLC, Michael has over 25 years of experience helping companies create communication strategies help them engage customers, employees, investors, outsourcing partners, and the community.

Michael can be reached at

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